On Tuesday we head off for the much anticipated BSPS Summer Championships. Undoubtedly the worst part of the experience will be the packing, which every year, without fail, is the cause of great debate in our house. Personally I think this is because everyone is prioritising something different, so it becomes a battle of everybody’s most selfish streak.

For example, my 10-year-old brother has already placed his large bike, his swingball and a football goal post right in the middle of the lorry. Not only does this limit our access considerably (bearing in mind he is the one who won’t go in there again until we leave for Grantham, whereas everyone else will be injuring themselves daily trying to climb over the damn thing), but it’s also the prime position for any item, meaning my sister, mother and I will have to either pack around a bicycle (no mean feat, let me tell you), or find some other extremely tiresome place for all our stuff. You might imagine that I actually have a stronger argument than my brother on why the bike should be put in last, but he would assure you that you are wrong.

My sister Susie and her pony Noble Sir Prize — the summer champs will be their first championship together

My sister Susie and her pony Noble Sir Prize — the summer champs will be their first championship together. Credit: 1st Class Images

My sister, although taking a different approach to her packing, might even be worse. At least my brother will just take his bike, a goal post, the swingball and a spare pair of socks. Susie, on the other hand, takes every single thing she owns, not that I’m one to blame her for over-packing, but this is on a new scale. Her wardrobe at home is always mostly empty, because all of her clothes live in one (large) suitcase, which she then just transports around with her from place to place. And I can appreciate that you need to be prepared for any weather condition that might hit. But once you see she’s brought 16 tee-shirts, four pairs of jeans, six pairs of shorts, 50 jumpers, 10 beach cover ups and seven dresses, knowing full well she will wear the same tee shirt and jeans she wears every single other day of the year, and that she has lugged in the most enormous bag specially to accommodate such a ridiculous amount of unnecessary clothing, you start to get a bit irritable. The real joke of it is that Susie is well known in our camp for being “always ready”, and she invariably sleeps in her full show outfit, including her hairnet, hat and gloves, with her whip in her hand so that her endless resources are redundant.

2015's England Team Blonde at the BSPS Summer Champs for the International team event - Alice Barnes, Susie Eddis, Heidi Coy and me. Alice and I are both on this year's team again

2015’s England Team Blonde at the BSPS Summer Champs for the International team event – Alice Barnes, Susie Eddis, Heidi Coy and me. Alice and I are both on this year’s team again

Finally, my mother; this might be a long one if it reflects how much she brings. She seems to be under the impression that she is permitted to hog every space available and have priority of the whole area, with the extraordinary exception of the bike and its friends, whose zone obviously cannot be invaded. Once she has dragged a full-size fridge into the horsebox’s shower, and what she optimistically calls The Wedding Marquee (pictured top) into the living, she becomes obsessed with The White Company. She insists on packing what feels like the entire store; the superior, deluxe, goose-down mattress cover, which apparently turns her sofa bed in the lorry into a world class hotel experience, fluffy towels, cotton towels, waffle towels, beach towels, bathmats, diffusers, room spray…. The list goes on. What is worse is her extremely inefficient packing style. After the initial five or six suitcases are in (“There’s nothing worse than not being prepared”) she just sends us to to and fro with the rest of her stuff, but very slowly and painfully, so that each item goes over on its own trip, right until the point that we pull out of the drive. It’s ok to have to move over your stuff for a tea towel, but once you’ve done a few hundred more trips you begin to run out of room to put your bag when there are now quite a few tea towels, a large box of cosmetics here, a pile of clothes on hangers just draped over there (but you’ve already run out of space in the wardrobe) and so eventually the original bags might as well have just exploded for the amount of room there is left for your own bags. Nothing stresses her more than spotting a naughty space somewhere, in the shower for example, or under the toaster, and she almost seems to hunt the house to find something useless to fill it with – now where’s that scented candle, those invaluable herb scissors…?

2015's England Team Blonde at the BSPS Summer Champs for the International team event - Alice Barnes, Susie Eddis, Heidi Coy and myself

2015’s England Team Blonde at the BSPS Summer Champs for the International team event – Alice Barnes, Susie Eddis, Heidi Coy and myself

Continued below…

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As for the horse-related items, they usually find their way in by hook or by crook, and really concern us very little in the grand scheme of things. And by the time you’ve stopped worrying about the human luggage, you’re really beyond caring about where your pony’s things are going to go.

Wishing you all a fabulous week.

Lucy