The indoor cross country class at the SIHS is an invite only do with just 4 teams and a total of 16 riders. Tom joined Team GB with Diesel (Charlie) for the trip and he waved goodbye to Charlie a few days before he left himself. Charlie’s journey was fairly uneventful as he had competant staff looking after him and a passport. Tom’s journey nearly didnt happen at all when he discovered he had mislaid his passport but at 10pm on Tuesday night he found it so all was set for his 3.30am departure in the morning!
Upon arrival at the show Tom rode Charlie and did his best to avoid “Pegasus” who was having a bit of practice in the main arena. Pegasus was a white horse with a set of wings on his back held in place by his blonde, hatless and barefoot rider. Pegasus took exeption to the dry ice and reared and whipped around in the warm up which highlighted to perfection the odd set up of the FEI… our riders had to wear a crash hat and Pegasus’s rider could do what ever she wanted!
Charlie actually behaved impeccably throughout the duration of the stay apart from in the somewhat chaotic trot up which was held in the tiny working arena in the middle of the stables. The vets kept Tom hanging around and Charlie performed some impressive “airs above the ground” and nearly took a few peoples heads off.
Competition night and with the crowds cheering, music blaring, a video / laser show and a technical and tough track to deal with it was going to be a test of Charlie’s nerves! Tom rode a brilliant round and Charlie was on for all the angles and tight lines and they finished in 10th place. Charlie is more of an open space galloper so it wasnt the easiest track for him but he coped magnificently.
A few beers to celebrate and a trip into town with Ludwig Svennerstal for a spot of clubbing made it a bit of a long trip home the next day… Charlie arrived home a couple of days later and that really is the end of the event season for Tom!