Today I was lucky enough to help at the UK Armed Forces Equestrian Championships being held at Addington Manor. It has been a beautiful balmy spring day and the perfect setting with those lovely horsey scents wafting on the breeze. I set off bright and early, as past experience of traveling West to East is one of the frustrating tail backs and roadworks (Yes I am talking about you M42 and M4…Oxford, don’t smirk, you’re as bad!). No such problem this morning with an easy journey and arrival one hour earlier than needed.
I sat on the bank and listened to proud owners describe each mount as they entered the arena for their show jumping round. I guess I expected it to be service personnel on their own horses but a large proportion of the showjumpers were owned by the military. I enquired as to if the horses were in active service and were told that they would indeed by taking part in the Queen’s birthday celebrations and Harry and Meghan’s wedding. Famous neds and on TV I would expect!
My allocated job for the day was to write for the judge of the Novice 38 class. Dressage, not a sport I have taken part in since my riding school days but I must admit to being a huge fan of the Hester/DuJardin duo. No only have you got to get every detail and score down accurately, the competitors come in thick and fast. I have done a little vet writing for endurance but as a competitor I am already well versed in the process. Quick adaptability to dressage lingo, short hand and lots of complimentary caffeine for optimum concentration! By the second competitor Judge Jocelyn and I were a team. A fabulous day and lots of new skills learned.