Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Christmas TREC

This year's Beaumont Christmas TREC competition at the weekend didn't quite go according to plan......we had entered as a team of four, but the day before we got the bad news that one of the tow vehicles wouldn't be ready in time so we had to decide which two could go. One of them had to be me, because, let's face it, I'm the only one who can actually read a map.......

So in the end, we loaded up Gandalf and Polo for the trip and everyone else came along to watch. I had managed to secure the services of a Shetland for the SNO, which she thought was rather marvellous, especially when her father, who was supposed to be keeping an eye on her, let her off the leadrein......

...unfortunaltely, as there was a record number of teams this year, they didn't have a spare horse for Ali to ride, even the mules had been pressed into service, so she went round in the car with Tanya.

It rained all morning, until it was time to go, which was better than I was expecting. We set off down the slippery path into the woods, and very quickly caught up with the Shetland group shepherded by some disgruntled looking adults in big waterproof macs - and Mike, who had already relinquished control of Éowyn's pony. Which meant that as we passed the ponies (the one at the back tried to kick poor Gandalf, no wonder he's not keen on small ponies), hers was at the front and tried to trot off after us. She of course though this was great fun, so we had to wait until one of the unhappy helpers caught hold of her before we could carry on.

At the first checkpoint, predictably, Hollie forgot about unclipping her airjacket and had to do some undignified hopping with one foot still in the stirrup until she'd detatched herself, fortunately it didn't go off. The boys were happy to have a munch on some hay - until the Shetlands turned up and Gandalf thought it would be prudent to get out of there sharpish.....

On we went (still no rain) until the second checkpoint which consisted of a gazebo in a field. Gandalf, safe in the knowledge that gazebos are not, in fact, horse eating monsters, walked right on under it and attempted to help himself to the bread on the table......he nearly got away with it too, as I was momentarily distracted by one of the mules attempting to roll with its rider still aboard. The boys were both quite interested in the mules, actually......

Then we set off on the third leg of the course which took us back towards the town of Beaumont. At one point I saw from the map that we had to cross a main road, so I'd got Tanya to take Choccy away in the car. Turns out I needn't have worried, as we had to go UNDER the road in a not very inviting looking, low, narrow tunnel!
So I got off, and the boy breathed in, and calmly followed me through. Love him. Polo followed us and Hollie didn't even need to get off, just as well as if the air jacket had gone off in the tunnel, we might have had a problem getting her out......

Next, on up into the town itself and we rounded a corner to see.......some steps

I double checked the maps, but it was indeed the right way, so after a moment's hesitition (I think he was figuring out just where to put his feet), Gandalf went on up, and as soon as Polo saw him put a foot on the first step, he scrambled up ahead of us. Nice to see that all the strange stuff I do with him pays off :-)

We arrived at the last checkpoint after the usual wiggle through the little cobbled streets in Beaumont and we even managed to arrive by the right one. Stopped off for some wine and excellent pepper sausage, then headed back to the stables.

After the TREC was the traditional slap up 5 course meal with extra chocolates, mostly hoovered up by the SNO. Lots of people sitting in an indoor sand school wearing Santa outfits.

And finally the prize giving.....and we came 5th out of 12 teams, happy with that :-)

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