Shaun Mandy’s dressage blog: ‘Even our GPS lost the will to live’

  • Dear gorgeous readers,

    As I write to you, I am sitting in my friend Elodie’s home in the beautiful setting of Gemma Tattersall’s yard in Sussex. Time has just flown by and I am a little late with getting my pen to paper!

    I have had a very full on two weeks with no break and so after Wellington Premier League, I decided to have a couple of days chill time. It doesn’t really work out that way though, as I then end up catching up on paper work and organising clients and my diary. Still, it’s lovely to be here in this tranquil forest and writing to you my dears!

    I will be taking it a little steady today anyway as last night we had a fun dinner in Horsham with Elodie, Edward (Creamer) and my friend from my Denmark days, Lovisa.

    Out for dinner with my friends

    Out for dinner with my friends

    Well, the trip to Germany did happen and it resulted in two three-year-old fillies arriving a few weeks after!

    Lorain Nixon, who owns four-year-old Houston V, and I decided to go into business together and we flew out from Gatwick to Hamburg to view some young horses.

    It was a very long, but entertaining day and we set off from my home at 4.45am to catch our morning flight. The day was planned out to a fairly tight schedule as we were catching the night flight back home.

    After picking up our hire car we found out that the GPS we bought with us did not have Germany in its settings! France and the Netherlands yes, but not Germany.

    It was supposed to be a two-hour car drive to the yard we were going to and we set up Lorain’s phone to be our guide. Just as we were about to set off, we were notified of a two-hour delay on our intended route. With our time constraints this would not do and so I phoned our German contact, Andre, who was showing us the horses and he told us another route we could take.

    It was longer by an hour, but one of the great things about the autobahn in Germany is the lack of speed restrictions and so we flew along in the fast lane making up some time!

    Having lived in Denmark for a year and a half, I was very comfortable driving on the other side of the road. We did have a little moment, however, where I got it a little wrong! At 3pm the GPS said we had arrived at our destination, although we had not. We then spent the next 40 minutes driving around trying to find the yard while on the phone to Andre (hands free of course), who was trying to direct us but did not really know where we were. It all got a little frustrating and every time Andre asked us what we could see around us, the answer was cows! I think Lorain’s phone even lost the will to live, because it then told us to drive to the USA!

    It was during this time of getting sweaty palms, as the clock was ticking, that I managed to turn into the wrong lane at a rather large intersection. Fortunately I realised my error in the nick of time and swerved out of it before coming to a stop on the side of the road. It was at this point that we decided to drive to the church in the local town and wait to be escorted to the yard!



    It was all worthwhile as we now have two gorgeous three-year-old fillies. One Furstenball x Sandro Hit (Bella) and the other by Vitalis x Florestan 1 (Bonny). I am in the process of backing them and they are proving to be fabulous! When they are backed we will be selling them on to homes where they can develop their dressage careers.



    So Wellington Premier League was a great experience! Houston V (Huey) did his first competition in the four-year-old class on the Thursday. It was a great educational day for him and he matured so well with just the few hours of being there. Euphoria E (Inky) and D.I. Dompadour (Poppy) did both the advanced mediums on the Friday and Sunday. Friday was definitely our better day and I was especially pleased with Inky (pictured top) doing his third advanced medium test, coming second in his section with 68.55%.

    Poppy found the arena a bit spooky as the grandstand was right next to it and going in on the second day did not help her cause. There’s always things to learn from and take away from competitions. When things are not going to plan in the ring, keep your focus and your mind one step ahead.

    Continued below…

    Read more from Shaun Mandy:

    Inky made it into the prizes on Sunday and was third in his section so we did our little lap of honour.

    The next competition is Hartpury Premier League with all of them and then the summer regionals.

    My dog Pringle taking things easy in the sun

    My dog Pringle taking things easy in the sun

    Lorain has filled the position as my PA and is doing a star job of it! One of the jobs she is working on at the moment is getting all the paper work sorted for my first apprentice who will be joining Shaun Mandy Dressage at the beginning of July.

    Now must dash as Elodie and I are off to the cinema. Remember the book I told you about, Me Before You? Well they turned it into a movie!

    Until soon xx

    Body mind mastery quote: “In order to achieve all that is demanded of us we must regard ourselves as greater than we are” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

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