Our adventures have started and we have arrived at Blair Castle. We left the yard on Monday at 5am and got a fairly clear run north, only occasionally encountering a bit of traffic. We had originally planned to make two stops on our way, but having ended up stationary on the A46 for half an hour, we were able to give Feu water and drop his head. As a result we cracked on with our journey and stopped at Catterick Bridge Racecourse where Feu stuffed himself with grass and had a good leg stretch, meaning he was very quiet for the rest of the journey.
Last night we stayed at Alex Barr’s yard in Lesmahagow, where Feu had a stable for the night and a leg stretch in their arena in the morning before making our final part of the journey to Blair Castle.
We all had a good night, apart from a brief interlude at around midnight when our terrier puppy decided to try have a conversation with an owl. Apart from that it was a peaceful night and allowed us to test out our sleeping locations for the next five nights. Feu had a great night and seemed fresh when we arrived at Blair yesterday afternoon.
The journey from Alex’s yard only took two and a half hours so we arrived at 12.30pm. The lorry is parked in the first row so we have a great view of the cross-country course. The somewhat previously problematic gazebo is now set up ready for our first meal here this evening. Feu has settled in well, loving the green Scottish grass and scalped his stable at the first opportunity. We had a quick look around the empty stables when we arrived and Feu is stabled in some very good company! We might learn some tips from the top level horses across from him.
Because we managed to have a ride at Alex’s yesterday morning, it was a perfect opportunity to have a brief explore here at Blair in the afternoon and allowed us to soak in the surroundings and get our bearings. Feu and I went for a hack around and wander up the gallop. He’s all loosened off and is feeling on fine form. He did get very excited when our ride took us near the cross-country warm up — his favourite phase by far!
Feu was happy in his stable having had dinner while we found the showers and I am pleased to say that the showers are steaming hot — a great relief after experiencing freezing cold showers at a previous event.
Sat here, under the gazebo, it’s quite satisfying to watch everyone arriving — from the big names to the small and being slightly smug among the chaos that we are all set for our week ahead. I have a couple of friends due to arrive shortly with their horses, meaning that exercising today might be a rather sociable affair, instead of on our own, as per usual. It’s also especially nice that Mike Jackson, who used to ride Feu before me, is only stabled next door.
I’ve managed to have a brief look at the cross-country course while we were on our ride but we are planning to walk it in full later today, to allow for a more in depth view, as well as exploring more of the event and having a good look around.
I will update you all on what I think of the course, along with pictures and updates from our trot up this afternoon (we are number 151).
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