As you have likely heard, all of the Canadians were pulled from the Endurance race at WEG. Disappointing, but understandable in the very tough conditions where only 35 riders completed out of 161 entries. I believe the time cut offs and trail conditions were instrumental in this.
We packed up all of the gear and got ready to load to go back to the layover barn East of Paris. It was a seven-hour trip and Sam and Glider both needed a microchip to be able to return to Canada. (The regulations changed while we have been gone.)
When we arrived back at the barn, all three Canadian horses quickly got to graze, drink water and Sam rolled. We were very happy to see them acting normally, as transporting the day after such a tough ride is not easy…..especially a long trailer ride.
They settled in for the night in stalls with day time paddocks for turnout for the next couple of days before heading to Luxembourg to fly back to Calgary. That meant we got a couple more days to sightsee!
Most of my crew had left and only Crystal remained with her husband who flew in. We picked him up at the airport and head to Provins to see an old city with a moat. The next day we headed to the Chateau Vaux Le Vicomte, the predecessor to Versailles. The man who originally organised the construction of Vicomte over 20 years, ended up being imprisoned for life by the king who then took the three men instrumental in the design to build Versailles.
Cecille took Sam back to the airport for me and I headed to the airport also to beat Sam back so I was there when he arrived. If you ever want to go for a French riding holiday, I would highly recommend Cecile’s place and hospitality.
I arrived back at 4:00 p.m. and Sam was due in at 2:00 a.m. My brother in-law picked me up and I stayed at his place (it is where my truck and trailer stayed while I was in France). I got a couple of hours’ of sleep and then headed to the airport. I was almost there when I got the call that the plane is delayed. It eventually landed at 6:30 a.m. Jessica flew back with the horses and looked exhausted. The horses all looked like they travelled well and all had scarfing on their necks from heat (probably from the ride). I only had an hour drive home, but Kat had about five hours and Jessica two days to Manitoba.
Sam was home and the CFIA arrived within three hours to take blood. He had to stay in quarantine until the results came back and then he could rejoin my other two in the field. He is happy to be home, grazing grass and back on normal feed. Plenty of rest for my boy now and I will probably head out for a ride in a couple of weeks. I had his remaining three shoes removed before leaving France, as he is now on an enforced rest period according to FEI rules. Maybe this finally gives me some time to get his half brother trained!
An amazing journey for both of us.