We arrived on the 26th in Arjen’s truck, which Frank was kind enough to drive. Roger had told us that it was bigger than Frankfurt, and he was right! It was Children’s day and it was packed! They had lots of fun things for the kids like pony rides and shetlands galloping around.
Mechelen is a World Cup qualifier so many of the top riders were there competiting, including WEG riders Edward Gal, Adelinde Cornelissen, Imke Schellenkens-Bartels, Hans Peter Minderhound and Patrik Kittel. It was great to riding around with these riders and thanks to Roger I got to meet Imke and Adelinde.
Donnabella passed trot up and it was interesting to see the fashion for trot up seemed to be old jeans and ugg boots, worn by both Edward and Patrik. After trot up I decided to ride Donnabella, the warm up is a little bigger than Frankfurt though it is split into 3 smaller arenas. I picked a good time to ride and there wasn’t a heap of people, though the 30 x 30 arena was quite full with a person lunging, a few walking horses, showjumpers galloping around and Donnabella, who coped much better than Frankfurt.
Once again it was an early start for Mum, Roger and I with the main arena open at 6am. I warmed her up outside before we headed to the main arena, and once again she reared, spun and bolted when she saw the entrance to the arena. She has never had to walk through those plastic strips that you see in the doorways of butcher shops, and she was not about to start. With Mum and Roger holding them open as best they could she managed to sneak through. The arena was packed with riders as usual but Donnabella was very brave and managed to work around the Grand Prix horses.
The PSG started at 8am on the 27th and with Imke, Adelinde and Patrik competiting against me, we definately were not expecting much. The class was packed with amazing horses. Donnabella was much better in the warm up than at Frankfurt, she is getting a little braver. She tiptoed through the scary entrance and had one spook while we circled the arena and we almost ended up inside it arena! But when it came to the test she was great, just a mistake in the fours. We weren’t expecting a high score but I thought 58 was a bit harsh and so did everyone we spoke to including Imke. Patrik Kittel won the class but only a 69% and Imke Schellekens-Bartels was 2nd on 68% and if they only score that than how am I suppossed to get a good score. I finshed in 13th place which was better than we expected.
I watched the Grand Prix with Mum, Roger, Chris Hector and Ros Neave, and saw some great horses. Edward won with Sisther De Jeu on 71.7%, 2nd went to Hans Peter Minderhound and Equis Nadine on 68.2% and 3rd was Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill on 67.9%. Sisther De Jeu is no where near as calm as Totilas in the presentation, as soon as Edward walked out he jumped off and she was taken back out. Though Edward did not have a horse he still ran the lap of honour on foot!
It was disappointing I could not stay to watch the freestyles on the following day but Donnabella had to be in England for quarantine by the 28th.
Thanks to Roger for these great pictures. 1) Donnabella trotting past Damon Hill and Sisther De Jeu. 2) Looks like Edward is watching us. 3) Donnabella in the PSG and my last ride on her until she arrives home in mid February.