Reflections on Europe Trip

Biara is home safe and sound and doing fine. She’s a little bit frisky because she hasn’t been ridden in the past few days, so went out to her paddock and was running around kicking up her heels. It was 97 degrees here and like walking in a shower…


When we went to the show in France it was 70 at the most, we wore windbreakers almost the whole time. In Germany it was 98 and very dry, but so hot, it was awful. My friend Pat did the heat study for the Atlanta Olympics, and I really think they should have had misting tents or fans. I wanted to go to Aldi and buy box fans but they said we couldn’t put them up in the stables. There were only two outlets in the stables, anyway. It was tent stabling and we were able to open part at the top and peel it back, but no air was moving so it didn’t help very much. Annie Peavy’s mom was supermom again, she was so helpful with everyone. We ended up putting wet rags around our necks to cool down, and though I’m used to doing things myself I was getting exhausted and it was good to have Michelle tell me to SIT DOWN!


Good old princess Biara was an absolute spazz with all four feet above the ground at Uberherrn. Fortunately I didn’t get dumped and they let me show again the next day. She’s a former event horse and I think she was ready to go cross-country! The judges said they were surprised I didn’t end up on the ground but I decided there was no way I was going to end up on the ground. I was just determined I wasn’t going anywhere.


The good news is I did pretty well in France. The USEF said we couldn’t be a team, but the TD told us we must be a team. Becca Hart has done this for like 15 years. We were told we couldn’t be a team because I hadn’t yet competed internationally – in a CPEDI - with my horse. We got everything cleared up and we were a team after about two minutes. It’s not a good thing to have your horse explode in the international arena, but it was still a really good experience. In the team test in France I was 5th, so I felt good. Unlike Florida, only the top seven qualify for the Freestyle. In Germany I withdrew from the team test so I didn’t get to do the Freestyle. The music is from Gladiator, and I think people liked it.


After France we were 8th in the world, but after Germany we fell one place – we only had three people on our team so we didn’t have a drop score. Becca went on to Hartpury, in England, and won the team test. This whole adventure was the first time she managed to score over 70% with the international judges so she was excited. I scored 67.7 in the Freestyle and 66.1 in team, so that was pretty good. All of our scores were definitely qualifying scores. Everybody seemed to like Biara, I’d be happy if she’d keep her feet on the ground!


I figured I’d need to switch her food over there, but figured it would take a while to switch, so I pretty much filled a trunk with everything. I brought two trunks and one was entire filled with feed! I didn’t take a lot of stuff, but I could definitely have gotten away with more casual clothes than I brought – I didn’t bring shorts and tanks tops and things like that. Germans don’t believe in ice and fans and air conditioning and things like that, and they do not dress up for the jog. Heather Blitz told me to take out any USA stuff that I had, and I had a cap and a polo shirt, so that’s pretty much what I wore on jog day.


It was pretty intense. I’ve flown back and forth to Europe for work and stuff, so I was the easy part. The horse was amazing! The whole shipping thing was great, through, it’s kind of weird to go to shows without your own trailer, but they showed up on time and were very organized.


I purchased the lovely photos from Mulhouse. Here's the gallery: