Friday, 24 July 2015

Championnat de France 2015 - Day 1


We've just got back from a manic few days at the French National Championships.  This happens every year at a purpose built Parc Féderal near Orléans in central France. As with everywhere in such a big country, it looks a lot easier to get to on the map than it actually is. Especially when the French agriculteurs are on strike, blockading roads with tractors and setting fire to roundabouts......

So it took us rather longer than planned to get there, most of the day in fact to get from Caen to Lamotte-Beuvron, just south of Orléans. A journey my satnav promised me would only require 3 and a half hours.......

But we arrived eventually, to find the place hot, dusty and packed. The Championnat is for pretty much any equestrian discipline there is, even horseback archery ;-) My fellow blogger Martine was there a couple of days earlier for the Equifeel competition. There was also western, TREC, endurance and hunter as well as the usual showjumping, dressage and eventing. Obviously there were horses everywhere, so you needed to get out of the way sharpish when one of them decided to object to leaving its friends/going into an arena/standing still to be mounted etc. You also needed to move out of the way of the hundreds of people who, unlike us, knew just how big the place was so opted to travel (when not on horseback) on various bicycles, golf buggies and even a few segways. And they didn't seem too concerned about doing things like looking where they were going.......

We met up with John and Carole from the stables and then went along to the briefing about the competition the next day. Well, OK, we stood around in the enormous covered arena where the targets had been set up and waited for the briefing to start.....luckily there was a lot of sand around to keep Éowyn amused ;-)
The briefing eventually happened, it basically boiled down to "turn up tomorrow ready to start at 9", and then we set off to find our digs for the next couple of nights. Turns out
we were camping on a sheep farm about half an hour north of Lamotte. Along with the gang from the Domaine de Gauchoux where we went to the archery competition last month. So the company was good, and so, as it turned out, was the food, since we'd arrived on the day they were having a mechoui (like a hog roast but with lamb). Lovely :-)

1 comment:

Tails FromProvence said...

The accommodations are pretty varied and amazing in their Frenchness!!

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