Wednesday 8th May - Trot up day (more photos can be seen on the gallery page)

Alarms went off at 6.45am and ponies all fed at 7am. After a quick cup of tea the work began. Mucking out, washing white socks (12 of them!) and plaiting. By 9am all jobs all done and time for another quick cup of tea.

We all then got ourselves looking smart dressed in beige trousers, Our Sponsor Saracen's tops and Saracen's Caps. Even 2 boys looked clean and presentable!

At 10am we headed up to the trot up area. All feeling a little queasy as trot up day is always a nerve racking experience. However no need to be nervous all the ponies sailed through, only feedback we got was that Shuffle needs to trot slower next time!!

There is a serious lack of excercise space here at Royal Windsor and everyone was given set times to use the practise arena. Ours was 5pm! However I had a sense of humour failure about that as really didn't fancy cleaning all the harness once we finished at 6pm. So we harnessed up the dressage team and found a lovely flat area of grass that is normally used as a rugby pitch to drive on!! Ponies went well and then the afternoon was spent cleaning the carriage and harness and making sure the brass was sparkly clean.

A  fab dinner of toad in the hole and mash and then off to bed for an early night.

Thursday 9th May - Dressage Day

Alarms went off at 4.45am!!! Ponies fed at 5am. Even tho they were in shock at being woken up so early they had no problem stuffing their breakfasts!

Socks washed and chalked and manes plaited in record time and by 6.30 we were all twiddling our thumbs waiting for 7.15am to be able to start harnessing up.

Harnessed up, all dressed and put to by 8.30am and off we went for the 20 minute walk up to the dressage arena.

Warming up went well and Wilf even commented that he thought they were going the best he had ever seen them! However the minute we got into that dressage arena those 2 cheeky ones up the front Jack and Fig knew Sara know longer had the big whip and decided they were just out for a little plip plop around the Queen's gardens! So with the leaders not going forward it meant the wheelers could not go anywhere so there was a small issue of lack of impulsion through the test. Sara tried her hardest and drove accurately but with the lack of impulsion made all the changes of paces very difficult. Pip also half way through the test got his tongue over the bit so although he was round and looked lovely Sara had no contact on him and therefore steering became a little bit of a problem!

So dressage was a little disappointing especially after such a good test last weekend. We finished on a score of 65.15 putting us in 9th place. I shouldn't tell u this but Jan De Boer finished in 1st place on a score of 38.78!! 15 points ahead of second place!!

After the dressage back to the stables and the ponies were banished to their boxes! Not really we gave them a cuddle and some treats and told them that we loved them still.

Sara spent the afternoon looking at the hazards and Tom and I cracked on and got all the harness re cleaned ready for cones on Sunday. Clever thinking as tomorrow there is nothing happening and as we have all harness done no cleaning needed tomorrow which means I  go shopping!!!

Weather has been shocking this afternoon very windy and raining. Guide ropes are having to be re-secured as the tents were looking in danger of flying off any second.

Shuffle has been full of herself today as she hasn't done anything yesterday or today. So I took her for a lunge and she very nearly disgraced me! There was all these posh horses being lunged and driven looking lovely and posh and then there was me hanging on for dear life the end of a lunge line while Shuffle squealed and bucked and basically caused chaos!

Dinner was rice, chicken cooked in a sweet and sour sauce. And we are now currently all sitting drinking wine! Trish is with us, she arrived at about 6.45pm and went off for 2 hours to walk hazards and had now got to drive home  tonight for work tomorrow.

Chill day tomorrow so hopefully we get a bit of a lie in!

Friday 10th May - Rest Day

A lovely lie in this morning we didn't start until 8am. After a cup of tea we went out for a drive around the excerise route. It was a lovely drive, ponies all feeling good and enjoying the drive. Highlight of the day we passed the Duke out driving his team and all greeted him with a nod of the head and a 'good morning sir'!!  Everyone came back from the drive in a great mood and the ponies said they preferred going out for a jig jog in snaffles instead of dressage in fancy bits!!

Rest of the day was very chilled out. Sara went off walking hazards and I went shopping with Mum and Bob.

Trish arrived this afternoon with a Fish Pie which we had for dinner. Very tasty!

Sara and Trish went off this evening for the Members Reception Drinks. Last year was a bit of a disaster as they had not eaten before they went and Sara drank far too much wine!! This year however they were much better behaved and arrived back at camp at 8.30pm only slightly merry!

Everyone is currently sitting around the camp chatting and drinking wine, the cards and connect 4 have been out. Ponies are all tucked up for the night. Hopefully not long until bed as we have a 6am start tomorrow.

Saturday 11th May - Marathon Day

Alarm set for 5.45am. Ponies fed and taken out for a walk and some grass. Even though they were still half asleep they had no problem stuffing grass at 6 in the morning! Sara, Trish and Carl went off to walk the hazards and the rest of us mucked out.

The team left camp at 9.30am to head up to the start of Section A. Josh quite happy being  left behind, I think he is still recovering from Ashfields!

A superb  marathon. A little rusty in Hazard 1 but as we all know that is quite normal! From then on a great round with the ponies really on form.  Finished 3rd on the marathon bringing us up from 9th place to 4th overall!  There is only 3 points now between us and 3rd place so a bit of pressure on now for the cones!

We all had a lovely afternoon watching the horse pairs and teams. Trish found some time to go off shopping and found herself a new hard hat, which she has had on her Christmas list for the last 3 years but no one ever bough her one!

This evening a Chicken Pie for dinner, followed by apple pie and custard! You might not recognise us when we all get home, Chubba Chubba!!

A few games of cards then off to bed ready for a 6am start in the morning.