The team left Chedington late on the evening of Monday and crossed on the graveyard shift ferry of 02.45 from Pembroke in West Wales. It was a busy crossing with most of the UK trucks opting for that route and a big NZL contingent of horseboxes and support vehicles. They arrived to glorious sunshine in Rosslare and drove North to settle in at the venue.
There is possibly the biggest turnout ever for the multiple classes running at Millstreet. Everything from 4*L, 4*S Nations Cups, the 3*L Olympic Games Qualifier for Australia, Japan, South Africa and Morocco ( and we are fielding a team as support for Australia as they have done the same for us in the past) through to a 2*S 6 year old class.
If anywhere is well set up for this it is here. The trucks are on a mixture of grass and hardstanding, there are two FEI dressage arenas side by side in the main arena which is nice for the horses who don’t like to go in and be lonely and plenty of practice dressage arenas laid out on the flat just below the main area which sits in a natural amphitheatre. The jog strip is above the main arena so nice and close to the stables and the cross country is on the other side of the road. Having had rain for months like the rest of us the venue is green, basking in the sunshine and the aerators are hard at work on the track!
The delightfully Irish way of operating means on the plus side it’s very laid back with minimal security and on the minus side the timetable changes by the hour!
Tim and Jonelle have the full crew here with Kerryn and Megan being joined by Tilly. Alys has Abel and Otis under her charge, Scooby has been reunited with his EU passport and is basking in both the sunshine and the fact that he is legal!
A big NZ crew here…some 19 combinations. Tim and Jonelle have plenty to keep them busy with lots of rides apiece, mostly in the 4S and both ride in the Nations Cup team for NZ, Tim with Falco and Jonelle with McClaren (Mac). Jonelle also rides in the 3*L OGQ with newish ride Chilli’s Midnight Star (Ollie) getting a team debut in quick smart!
And best of all…it is half term week and for once in Ireland we bask in wall to wall sunshine with temps set to hang around the mid twenties. And the coastline of the Mediterranean….set for lashings of rain! For once the weather Gods shine on us.
Credit Megan Hodder. The caped crusaders meet Ollie in the stables.