The most amazing thing about the past few days to me has been the company that we are keeping here in England. I have learned that our host, David Green, is a four-time Olympian (there is a gold medal sitting on the coffee table...!), and rode at the World Equestrian Games for Australia. He also completed Badminton 19 times and Burghley 10 times (if I remember that correctly). I might be a little slow to put things together, but apparently David Green was once married to (the Great) Lucinda Green (hence her last name…). Their daughter was here the past 2 days and she looks JUST like her mother! One of David’s house guests all week has been a man called “Patch” who turns out to be the President of the FEI Eventing Division (But I think I mentioned that last time). Last night another guest showed up and introduced himself as ‘Eric from Sweden’ when we went over to hang out. It turns out that he is the coach of the New Zealand National Team. Good Grief! So today Patch was teaching jumping lessons all morning in the arena and a man rode in on a very fancy 5yo German-bred bay. He smiled when he walked by Paige and me and introduced himself as “Clay.” That would be Clayton Fredericks. Yep, the Clayton Fredericks that rides for Australia and won Rolex just a couple of years ago. The same Clayton Fredericks who is married to Lucinda Fredericks who won Rolex this year on her amazing mare Headly Brittania. Wow! He was so incredibly friendly, which is a huge plus. I set fences for all of Clayton’s jump lessons with Patch today (he brought 4 different horses) and afterwards Clayton asked me if I minded helping his groom get everyone settled…. Of course I don’t mind! Let’s just say it was an honor!
After all of the morning lessons were finished we took our horses to Barbury Castle to gallop on the track up the mountain. I had heard that the landscape there was completely breath taking and it did not let us down. The track itself was incredible. They have several different gallops there, but today we went on the one that is 4 furlongs up a very steep upgrade to the top of a large hill. Six horses went to gallop today. We had Jess and Trevor, Amy Tryon and Leyland, Phillip Dutton and TruLuck, Jennifer Wooten and The Good Witch, a lady named Sally who apparently rode the horse she galloped today at the last European Championships, and Lizeb on the horse she took to Badminton and will be taking to the Europeans in a few weeks. It was awesome watching all of those great horses gallop in that beautiful setting!
The last 3 Canadian horses arrived at the farm late last night. Jessica Pheonix brought her two horses, Tucker and Digby to run Blenheim, and Diana Burnett’s horse Manny came to run Burghley. We were all hoping to go into London tonight to do a bit of sight-seeing but I think we need to stay on the farm and do drinks and dinner with David and Jackie (Green). Maybe we’ll go into the city tomorrow night.
It is definitely fun and beautiful here, but I do miss home. But it’s fun while it lasts here! Can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow!