|Tali's accommodations heading on the Plane to Liege with Michelle|
This trip to Saumur had it's origins at Fair Hill CCI*** last fall. Both Kim Severson and David O'Connor independently pulled me aside and asked me to consider trying to attend an European 3* in the spring. To be honest I really hadn't considered it, I was too busy trying to get prepared enough for Fair Hill. Fast forward 6 months, Tali has had a great spring season. I decided to both enter Rolex as well as submit an application for a Land Rover/USEF Grant to Saumur. Following the Fork CIC*** I was notified that our grant application had been approved! (Click to read blog entry)
After Rolex's dressage, the final push to Saumur was on! Jersey Fresh's CIC*** was targeted as Tali's final run. The event went exceptionally well, we finished with the win by 8 points! Following the competition Dr. Susan Johns preformed the final detailed veterinary inspection. Tali looked fabulous and we got the green light to go, contingent on one last trot up the day before departure by Dr Brendon Furlong.
Saturday evening Tali and Michelle headed north to my parents place for the week, while I headed south to Raleigh to help Jess and Katie at the Cabin Branch Schooling Event at the Carolina Horse Park Sunday morning. I remained in NC to ride through Tuesday morning. My sister Holly was nice enough to take Tali for a long walk Monday.
I returned the 8 hours to NJ Tuesday afternoon to ride the dressage test for my Mom and long time mentor Irma Hotz. It was incredibly helpful, and with some luck I can put their advice into action here in France. Wednesday morning I headed out for our final Gallop, as soon as we finished up I hopped back in the car to return south to Raleigh.
A lot of driving you say...yeah no kidding! Better off me than Tali though, he's had enough traveling this spring for most of the barn. I figured it was best to minimize his travel, so that he could be in top shape come Saumur.
Wednesday afternoon Michelle met Dr. Furlong to get the final ok to proceed. She and Tali headed out to JFK on the other side of NYC to prepare for their flight. I flew out from Raleigh on Friday mid-day. Following the first of many misunderstandings my rental car sans GPS managed to make our way north putting Michelle, Tali and I here in Chantilly just hours apart this morning. This afternoon, which still felt very much like morning, I took Tali for a long hack around the Fursam Equestrian Center.
All I can say is that this place is beautiful! It will serve as our home through Monday am as well as the staging facility for the US team prior to the World Equestrian Games this summer. Below you'll find a link to my Facebook album. I'll do my best to continue to update with photos through the week. The only catch is finding reliable WiFi in order to upload them in a timely manor.
Click the link above for updates through the week, and of course check back on this blog for detailed accounts!
Feel free to post questions below that you might have, I'd be more than happy to answer whatever is on your mind.