After 6 weeks away in Morocco and Spain, we are finally back in Yorkshire enjoying a break before heading off in the New Year to Cadiz in Spain for the Sunshine Tour.
It’s quite an operation going abroad with horses. Thankfully, we are ably assisted by specialist travel agents who ensure we have places to stable our horses on route as well as organising all the other requirements of travelling with horses. It’s so important to have all of our stops planned when you spend 4 full days on the road. It’s a long haul from West Yorkshire to Morocco! Our lorry has space to carry 9 horses and is home to Mum, Dad, my boyfriend Chris, and me plus our 2 dogs, Dave and Dolly. We have everything on board – sleeping, eating, washing facilities and all mod cons such as a washing machine and tumble dryer. It provides everything we need for “camping” with horses. So far, we’ve never had to fly our horses…. but who knows… if we make it to Tokyo!
We started our journey at 6 am in the morning, driving the 7 hours to Dover, stopping to feed the horses on the way. Sometimes we have a night stopover in the quarantine stables but this time it was straight onto the boat. Travelling with horses isn’t too difficult providing their passports are up to date and they have all their immunisations. It’s a lot easier than travelling with dogs as we found out on our return. More of that later.
Trips like these are a family affair with the 4 of us helping each other. It can get a little challenging when we’re all in a ring around the same time but we manage. Dad, Chris and I are jumping and Mum is an Equine Physio with plenty of clients on the tour, so it’s full on for all of us. Our Grooms usually stay behind to keep an eye on things back home.
After our fabulous tour in Morocco we went straight onto Oliva Nova in Spain for three weeks. My horse Roma was due a well deserved rest, so it was lovely to take her to the beach almost every morning for some relaxing spa time, she loved it!
Billy Rembrandt, my lovely 7-year-old, was placed in eight out of nine classes. She jumped brilliantly, and we pulled it out of the bag to win the 7 year old Final on the last day! What a super star she is!
After many years of competition, we have a good group of friends on the tour, so there’s plenty of eating out and enjoying our spare time. Clients come along too so it’s always a fun time.
We are now back in Yorkshire minus my little dog Dolly. She’s a Labrador-dachshund cross, I found wondering as a stray in Spain just over a year ago. She is my baby! It was devastating to be told at Calais she wasn’t allowed back into England because there was an error in the paperwork. She is currently in kennels in Calais and will be returning to us on 5th December. It was devastating to leave her behind and I can’t wait to have her back.
For now, it’s a couple of weeks of rest before we start preparing for Cadiz in February. I will write more about this in the coming weeks.