Helpers, buggies and dogs at Blenheim | An Eventful Life

Helpers, buggies and dogs at Blenheim

Emily Penney and Libby Law

      Emily Penney and Libby Law take a break on one of the fast Blenheim buggies

Well the final event of my trip has been and gone at Blenheim. In some ways, my six weeks here seems to have flown by and in other ways it’s gone very slowly.

One of the worst things about being away is getting ‘dog-sick’ (as in home-sick, not as in sick as a dog) but Blenheim offered some relief being the most doggy event I think I’ve ever been to. Dogs are everywhere you look and usually (as dogs do, with that uncanny sense of knowing when you’re looking at them) looking back at you. Dogs wearing bandanas, dogs sitting on knees, dogs having a snack, making friends, getting a lift, having a drink, in the media office …………… the list goes on and it is immensely cheering when you’ve been away from your own home and dog for a while.

      Dogs on buggies..................

      Dogs having picnics.....................

      Dogs watching intently ...................

      Dog knee warmers.......................

      .... and media hound Kenneth, the British Eventing dog who has a nose for a story

You can read all our reports from the event so I don’t need to tell you what happened but thought I’d share some other personal highlights for me apart from the doggy-ness;

·         Heaven of heavens – I had a helper at Blenheim, Emily Penney. Emily had done some great reports for us in Australia so when she headed to the UK earlier this year on exchange with Bristol University it seemed the perfect chance to get some on-the-spot-reports from various events as her University commitments allowed. It makes life so much easier and fun when there are two of you reporting, aided and abetted by that AEL essential team member – Libby Law

·         Saying hello each morning to the mare and foal in the paddock near our little rented house

·         Clark Montgomery (USA rider, placed third in the CCI 3*) very kindly trying on Blenheim jackets on the merchandising trade stand for me so I could gauge sizes – the perfect model

·         A fridge stashed with packets of Galaxy Minstrels and bars of Toffee Crisp in the Media Office

·         Learning that respected equestrian journalist Kate Green eats Curly Wurlies

·         Despite quite a bit of rain, I didn’t get soaked once (although sadly my pride and joy carted back from France, a World Equestrian Games 2014 umbrella, was not quite up to event usage. The handle fell off and I didn’t even prod someone with it – may be something the merchandising product team for Normandy need to address before next year. I'm happy to offer my services as a rigorous tester )

·         Luxury loos

·         Buggy rides around the event (if you were really fast you could almost watch a cross country round on the media room TV, leap in a buggy, get down to the finish and catch the rider for an interview before the horse had been hosed off. That is if you didn’t fall off the back of the high speed buggy going around a squelchy corner)

      Good morning! Are you off to Blenheim again?

I’ve now gone full circle and am back in London where I started this trip before heading to Normandy. Tomorrow I fly back to Australia and a few others are heading back too after Blenheim; Shane Rose flew out on Sunday night to return for his Eventing Equestriad event at Camden this weekend (yes, Alison and the video crew will be there and although I’d love to be joining them, I think that jet lag will get the better of me) and Wendy Schaeffer heads back this week to get horses ready for our very own 4* event at Adelaide.

November and the Australian International 3 Day Event will be here before you know it but in the meantime I leave Libby to carry on the good work and she’ll be bringing us lots more European and UK eventing action as the season draws to a close ………………