Preparations began a few days ago  for the Gingers next big party this week at Sandringham Castle, Norfolk on 29th, 30th  June and 1st July 2012.

It started with all the bathing , trimming and smartening up of the totties,   but they still had their turn out in the paddock  and promptly rolled in the dust much to Sarah Mac's disgust after all her hard work.

On Monday 25th  along came Paul the farrier to give all 5 gingers a new set of party shoes.

We had a bit of worry last week when Sara's back went out again  and she was laid up for 3 days unable to stand up straight,  she went up to out patients and had a big jab in the muscle area of the  lumbar region.   Thankfully with a bit of rest and some well received massage she seems  fine at the moment.

Today, Weds 27th  was the morning of departure and  nothing had been packed so it was all done in the first few hours before they left  as they hadn't had time before.

Miracles DO happen as Carlos arrived on time.    Sara had told me she had planned to leave about 10.00 am  so I had planned to go and help load the ponies and see them off,  knowing her from previous shows,  when she's ready she's gone  so luckily I went round early,  and low and behold she left early at 9.30  but at least I saw them go.   So now they are on  their way to Norfolk.

The journey took 3 hrs. Sarah Mac was navigating on her iPhone which didn't show us roads too small for lorries to go down!!  Sarah mac got shouted at and told to stop relying on technology and use the paper map! So after a small diversion to avoid narrow roads we got back on track and arrived safe and sound.

We drove the team for exercise yesterday afternoon ( weds ) everybody looked good and they were going well.

Dinner was dished up by my mum and bob, it was shepherds pie yummy.   Sara went off in the evening to Julie Cams lorry to play Connect 4,  we didn't here much cheering from Sara so guessing Julie beat her!

After a good nights sleep,  everyone drove this morning the team went very well so Sara was very pleased. Rest of day was spent cleaning harness and carriages and all the ponies had a bath.  Weather is very hot and humid.   We had an announcement this afternoon that a few miles away they have had torrential storms so we were told they were likely to come over us. A few cracks of thunder but so far nothing else so hoping we miss it.

Sara been off to walk hazards this afternoon she has not told us yet as to what she thinks of them.

Dressage tomorrow ( Fri ) at 1.40pm going to drive leaders as pair in morning then it will be cracking on with plaiting and washing their socks to make them  as white as white can be.

Bangers and mash for dinner tonight then a good nights sleep ready for a busy day tomorrow.

Also for your info the marathon at 11.36 on Saturday.

Last night dinner, then spent evening playing Connect 4. Sara was not happy as Zoe beat her about 7 times so she went off to bed sulking! Rest of us spent eve discussing the new book everyone is talking about - 50 shades Of Grey. It was decided it might be more fun reading and to give up carriage driving.

Friday - Dressage

Ponies fed at 6.45am - we mucked out and Sara drove leaders as pair at 8 a.m just to remind them what they needed to do in the dressage.  Rest of morning spent washing socks and plaiting again and more grooming.   Weather not bad, sun one minute then clouds the next. Very windy in dressage arena.   Dressage was ok,  Jack was spooking !  You would think after all the dressage arenas he has been in he would no longer find the white boards scary but no straight up the centre line turn left when he should be giving a nice bend to the left  but Jack has got his head bent out to the right wondering what the white things on the floor are!!

In 3rd place after dressage on a score 63.

Rest of afternoon Sara spent walking hazards. Sarah Mac spoilt the ponies by giving them a nice time out munching some grass.  Then the harness all re-cleaned and brass polished ready for Sunday cones.

Dinner was pie tonight.  All fed and watered and then an early night for all ready for a busy day tomorrow.

Saturday - Marathon Day

Fed ponies at 7,  Sara Carl and Trish went walking hazards.

Sarah Mac mucked out and gave all the ponies 20 mins on the grass to keep them happy for the day ahead. 

Harnessed up at 10 weather weird pouring with rain one minute and sunny the next , very hot when sun out. Lots of fly spray needed as near a river and was very ‘midgy.’

Left the box at 11 as it took 15 mins to get to start of  'A'  .  Amble not happy being left behind so Sarah Mac took him for nice walk once they had gone and let him eat lots of grass. 

They all put on loads of waterproofs before they left as it was pouring with rain but then the  sun came out by the time they got to the start,  so all had to strip off!! 

Section  'A'   enjoyed scenery Carl,  Trish & Sara had good chat. Ponies enjoyed it to, the ground was good, a few scary pheasant feeders that Jack thought were terrifying!! 

Walk, sec 'D'  on Tarmac hard work trying to keep ponies at speed as Jack was spending more time looking around instead of concentrating on walking. 

Section 'E',  hold up before 1st hazard due to a pair turning over so the adrenaline that had got pumping dropped a bit. Held for over 11 minutes. 

Water hazard was first, Trish was concerned that she would come out of there with leaches all over her as water was full of it!!  And smelt! 

Ponies switched off a little in between hazards but fired up again once heading into hazards. 

Hazard 3 a bit dodgy,  over shot a gate and had to circle round and had a few crashes and bangs into some posts!!!  Pole slightly bent  now!!    

The rest  of hazards went well,  everyone on form, the leaders working well  together especially on sharp  tight turns.

Duke was doing timing on hazard 5. 

Hazard 6 we caught a post on way out, Sara had to check that Carl and Trish were still there as they had gone very quiet!!

Finished marathon, went back to the horse box washed all ponies off and gave them a nice rinse in lavender wash. Then they had a lovely munch on grass and dried out in sunshine. Then back in their stables for a rest while we went and watched horse teams. 

After that back to ponies checked them over and gave them a walk and some more grass.  All fine just a little tired. 

Tucked them up for bed, roast dinner for us tonight along with a few bottles of wine!   Then bed ready for a long day tomorrow as the cones class doesn't start til 4pm tomorrow!! 

Checked the scores later and Sara won the Marathon and that has now put her 1st overall.   Yippee
Fingers crossed for cones tomorrow.

Sunday  -  Cones

Well  lets not bother to much about the day's activities as all we are waiting for is the cones to start and luckily  it went very well .   WHOOP WHOOP !!!  SHE WON .  YEAH  !!  WELL DONE  ALL !!!!