Having spent three lovely weeks at home, playing with Heidi and enjoying what turned out to be the last of the Autumn sunshine Kvint, Emma and I headed for the CSI1* in Rouen. I was really lucky to get into Rouen, which is a very nice 4* show in an exhibition centre in Rouen. The first time I've been to a show that wasn't at an equestrian centre. Blindly following the sat-nav I drove round Rouen and arrived in very good time on Tuesday. Being early I was parked very close to the stables and Dermot Lennon very kindly helped me fetch the lovely free bedding for the horses and get them comfortable. Having a good wander round the venue I was a little bit concerned that they were still putting the surface down in the main arena, and got sufficiently disorientated that I thought there were two trade stands areas, but on the whole it was looking as if it was going to be a very smart show.
We were able to ride in the main arena on Wednesday which was a huge advantage, and gave the horses a chance to look at the big screen and work alongside the hospitality areas. They both trotted up well and we were all set up for Thursday.
Emma jumped well to finish 10th in the 1.35 speed and Kvint jumped clear in the 1.15 so we were off to a good start. On Friday Emma jumped even better to finish 7th in the 1.35 - which was a little bit stronger, which suited her better and Kvint jumped another lovely double clear to finish just out of the money.
I only had Kvint to jump on Saturday, he just had the last fence in the 1.25, but otherwise jumped very well.
Polly, Vincent, Eliane, Nina and Leonie came to watch, while Antonin went rock climbing. So once I had jumped we made the horses comfortable and went into beautiful Rouen for some lunch.
We then went back to the show in time to watch the big class which was very satisfyingly won by Guy Williams and then had a quick supper in the lorry before watching the lovely boys in underpants jumping on their feet and the Puissance where Laura Renwick and Rowan Willis tied for first place.
On Sunday I only had the 1* Grand Prix to jump on Emma. She jumped very well, but had a vertical coming off a corner and then ran me to the last fence a double of uprights - so not quite the result I had wanted. Kirstie Leightly made the Grand Prix her third win of the show, so she and Guy certainly made their local show their own. I was home by 10.30, having had a sociable trip back on the boat with Michael Duffy and Brian Cassidy who were on their way home from Kronenberg in Holland.