Championnat 2015 – Part 1

I think this is going to be  three-parter.  I’ll keep it as brief as I can!

Last year, the title of this post was ‘Championnat 2014’, like as if there might be a 2015… and, of course, there was.  With all the work I’d done with Aero, and with the huge improvement in the quality of our Equifeel work, I was dying to go off to the French Championships to show him off!

Last year, it took us ten hours to drive from Provence to Lamotte-Beuvron, where Le Championnat takes place.  This year, it took twelve.  Why?  I’m really not sure.  Both trucks are elderly, and one of them was carrying Sisi (640kg of Friesan) so it really struggled on the hills of the Auvergne but still – twelve hours?  Ugh.


From dusk…


…to dawn and then some


With Nuts the dog squished into the cab, too

We were staying in an old chateau.


The back of the chateau

It’s a truly unique place.


The courtyard. Maybe an old stable yard? The building behind me housed a separate gite, a communal dining area, three kitchens and a toilet and shower. And this stump must have been an amazing tree once upon a time!

It’s run by the old couple who own it – they seem to do all the work themselves, from meet & greet to sweeping up the dust in the entrance hall.


This chap greets visitors in the entrance hall

Le Championnat is a big earner for them – there were horses and humans shoved into every corner.


This garage ended up housing a couple of horses

They also host hunting parties during the shooting season.  The decor reflects this.  Have a look at the photos on my Facebook page!

We settled the horses, protecting them against the flies and the heat as best we could – temperatures were up to 38C (100F) over the first two days.


I knew all about the horseflies here, so I brought all of my fly rugs. Sisi looked great dressed as a zebra


Aero, armoured against the flies


YA parked his truck in Sisi’s paddock to give her shade and she took full advantage of it

Once the horses were looked after, we all went to sleep for a while.  In the afternoon, we went to the Parc Equestre.  It was strange to see it empty.

DSCF0678 DSCF0679The next day, Friday, we took it easy.  I got up early to work with Aero before the heat and the flies got too bad, then we went shopping.  In the afternoon, we went to the Parc Equestre to collect our souvenir bags.  We were all winners already!


Oh yes, and I bought a hat.

IMG_3790We worked out our plan of attack for the following day.  Our course walk was at 1.45pm… only then would we find out what was in store…

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