Shaun Mandy’s dressage blog: Devastation and delight

  • Dear gorgeous readers,

    I feel I need to apologise for leaving you for so long. As I write to you, I am sitting in bed with my dog Pringle snuggled under the duvet and the autumn sunshine streaming through my bedroom window. Oh, I do enjoy a day off.

    Last night was definitely one to remember, as I actually went on a proper date and I liked him! The last time this happened, if you remember, was my fireman in Denmark.

    The past couple of months have included my brother’s stag party and wedding, a holiday with my bestie, Elodie, a change of ownership with Euphoria E (panic not, I still have him!), competing and my birthday.

    Mark and Maria’s wedding was absolutely beautiful. I played my role as best man and managed to get through my speech after about five glasses of Prosecco! The secret to a good best man’s speech is to make it short, heartfelt and with a couple of funnies — I nailed it.

    My brother and his new wife

    My brother and his new wife

    The wedding reception was at the picturesque Italian villa, Compton Acres in Sandbanks. It was a warm and sunny September day and simply perfect. Weddings are always a fun place to catch up with friends or certain family members who you have not seen for ages. I have this kind of relationship with my glamorous cousin, Janine. The time I actually saw her the most was when her and her husband were living in Singapore and I was working for QANTAS Airways and travelling to Singapore a couple of times a month for two years. We had a ball and went out for lunches, manicures and massages. Now she lives in London and we meet up at weddings and funerals, always saying how we must see each other more, but never do! Perhaps 2017 will prove different…

    With my aunt, galmourous cousin and her daughter

    With my aunt, galmourous cousin and her daughter

    So, Elodie and I had a blast in Turkey. This was my first holiday in four years. I know some of you may be doubting this as you have seen me checking into airports quite frequently, but it was not for pleasure! The last holiday was with Els in Gran Canaria four years ago.

    With Elodie at my brother's wedding

    With Elodie at my brother’s wedding

    It really was just what the doctor ordered. A week of relaxing in the sun with copious amounts of yummy food and wine. Our hotel room had a balcony opening up onto the sea and waking up to that every morning was bliss. Now I can’t share everything about our time as sometimes what happens on tour stays on tour, but we laughed every day and that definitely is good medicine!

    On one of the days we decided to do a day trip and see an ancient city in the mountains and take a boat trip on the green canyon lake. We were all set to have an early night with little drinking in preparation for our early start, and then we met our holiday friends… Our plan was ruined and we woke up with stonking hangovers! It kind of made the day funnier and we soldiered through with the rest of the tourists in our open sided bus racing around Turkey.

    It was a long day and we were looking forward to getting back to the comfort of our hotel plus we had dinner plans with our new holiday friends and then the bus decided to break down. All the men (me included!) tried to push start it, but this did not work and only provided a small amount of entertainment for the ladies. An hour later we were rescued by another bus and before we knew it we were laughing and joking over dinner with our holiday friends.

    Pushing the bus

    Pushing the bus

    We spent the week confusing other holiday makers and hotel staff of the dynamics of our relationships. Our new friends consisted of 50-year-old Lady Sallyanne, her 30-year-old husband, Henry and her very young parents Vic and Carol. We went around as a sixsome and just as people were getting their heads around Elodie and I being a couple, Henry would pretend to be my boyfriend and then people would think that Vic was Sallyanne’s husband — oh how we laughed!

    Els and I with our holiday friends

    Els and I with our holiday friends

    Before we knew it, holiday time was over and nothing bought me back to reality quicker than an email from Lis (Inky’s half owner) saying that she wanted to sell. I received this on our last day and had to try and push it to the back of my mind so as to try and enjoy our last few hours in the gorgeous Turkish sunshine.

    Upon returning we were in discussions of advertising my gorgeous boy. I was devastated and was thinking of every which way to buy Lis’ share, but did not have the money. I began to think that what would be would be as I now felt it was totally out of my control and then a couple of amazing people in my life stepped up. A dear friend who wishes to remain anonymous and Robert and Lorain Nixon came to the rescue and so I now own Euphoria E (Inky) jointly with the Nixons.

    Continued below…

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    A couple of days later and Inky and I got our personal best score at Hunters (pictured top) in the advanced medium with 69.11% and 67.39%. Charlotte Dujardin was in both my classes and warming up with her was inspirational and it made me ride better. I thought: “right Shaun, you need to pull your socks up!” Wow, how fabulous is she?!

    Charlotte and I

    Charlotte and I

    Robert and Lorain were there to support and it was great for Inky and I to get our PB with the new ownership. Onwards and upwards. My friend, Jaenette Bekker, who was visiting from South Africa also took some fun pics of me in the warm-up and it looked like Charlotte and I were doing a pas de deux!

    Right my lovelies, Pringle and I must get out of bed — it is 2pm! Even though it is my day off, I have got one lesson to give. Yesterday I had four new clients which is always good — the more the better.

    Until soon xx

    P.S. I had a fabulous birthday! It was also mum’s birthday — yes I was her best present 32 years ago! Thank you to everyone who sent me lovely birthday wishes.

    Body Mind Mastery Quote: “I wasn’t worried about a perfect game going into the ninth. It was like a dream. I never thought about it the whole time. If I’d thought about it I wouldn’t have thrown a perfect game.” – Catfish Hunter

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