Sweden Day 3

The Swedish field course was bags of fun, albeit very hard work!  My horse decided that Adam and I would probably enjoy a bit more of a challenging ride and so as I set off he went about 10m then suddenly stopped, half-reared, spun around and started to go the other way.  He nearly had me off and it took me over a minute to get him to go.  This meant that I lost 40 points in time penalties.  Since I only scored about 10, this did not add up to a good score!  The second time around I got him to go and scored a tolerable 17 points: far off the lead but not the worst score.  On Adam’s turn the horse did the same thing again, this time pitching Adam off.  Adam gamely remounted and with a little help got going and equalled my 17.  Each of us was awarded a rerun (as was Anders, who had jumped out of the track, and Sissela, whose quiver broke as she set off).  This precedent was set in Grunwald, where those whose horses were excessively badly behaved were granted a rerun for Grand Prix purposes but not for the  individual event.  Since one cause of our horse’s bother was that he hated leaving the crowd, Anders rode the track in front in front of Adam and then Anders and I did our reruns together, me following him and each of us being careful not to shoot the other as we roof around the broadly circular track.  Quite apart from being much easier than forcing the horse the whole way, this was great fun and siding to look at in future.  Claire and Chris needed no such help and both returned good scores, especially Claire, who finished 6th overall and 5th among the Grand Prix competitors (behind all 4 Poles, naturally).

The team rankings were the same as for every other event this weekend: Poland, GB Sweden, Finland.  I’ve not done the complete calculation but from what I can see this result would probably have been the same without the reruns (although as I say, that was a rule that we agreed in Poland, not something done just here).

Time now for a quick mention of something that happened a couple of days ago.  At the first dinner the topic of fencing came up.  It turned out that somebody had brought along a few heavy fibreglass practice broadswords.  Cue a selection of impromptu sword fights, culminating in a beautiful final bout between me (who fenced foil and and a bit of sport of sport sabre at school) and Szczepan, who fences traditional sabre (bigger and hachure than the light, flexible sport ones).  Then cue much furious retreating and the occasional lunge from me, trying to fend foil with a heavy broadsword!  This was glorious fun that left us both yearning for our own swords.  Next time, Szczepan 🙂

I would like to express my utmost thanks (and, I am sure, the thanks of everybody else) to Anders and Maria for hosting a superb event as well as offering wonderful hospitality (it was quite sad packing up the converted hay loft where we had been staying – it had become quite homely) and cooking wonderful meals for everybody on to of competing and judging.  The whole family deserves a good pat on the back followed by a week’s rest!  Thanks also to TetraPak, who very kindly provided over 150 cartons of drinking water, which were particularly welcome in the burning sun over the last couple of days.

The current GP rankings after two stages are therefore as follows:
POL: 175
GBR: 135
SWE:  110
FIN:  40

To my fellow competitors, thank you all for your company and I hope to see you all very soon in some part of the world or other.

Roll on Stage 3 in Britain on September 20-21!

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