No blogging = a busy week, and it's been busy indeed. The start of the week was occupied with Silver Spurs, a talent spotting competition for young riders. The Youngest Daughter won Silver Spurs twice, in 2005 and 2007 - her prize was a €500 training bursary each time, my prize was I got to take over running the competition, along with my good friend and co-conspirator, Naomi. Our original plan was total world domination, but we've had to settle for Silver Spurs, due to insufficient inherent evilness.
Naomi and I enjoy the road trip, though, and we natter away while we clock up the miles, solving problems as diverse as the demise of the Irish Horse Industry and the reason why so many characters get killed off in Game of Thrones! We also get to meet lots of nice people - our assessors are usually involved with the British Young Riders Dressage Squad (BYRDS) in the UK, and they've all been amazingly generous with their time and advice.
There's usually a mix of abilities in the riders - some are not yet "at the races", some are nearly there and some are very well educated and show a lot of natural talent - they're the ones we're looking for. We've now got 35 riders through to our finals in August, and every single category (Under 12, Pony, Junior and Young Rider) is going to be hotly contested - we love trying to guess who's going to come out on top in each section, but we're usually wrong!
I got back home late on Wednesday night after Silver Spurs, and had to pack for my holidays the next day - we were leaving for France at 10am, to catch the 4pm ferry from Rosslare.
The holiday is going to be totally non-horsey, but I'm planning on doing a few photo posts - I got a replacement for camera that I drowned, so I want to play with it on this trip. To start the ball rolling, this series desrcibes the journey very well :