The Lignières Blog!
Apologies for the radio silence over the past few weeks but a house move with a roaming toddler who has had a horrible cold hasn’t been conducive to sitting down and writing this! There is nothing quite like the stress of moving house but, as these things do, they tend to happen one way or another, although as the packing goes on things get less organised and more ‘lob it in a box & deal with it later’. This way basically entails us moving into a rented house for a couple of months as our new house hasn’t gone through just yet. Yay – we get to do it all over again soon...!
Anyway, as the Event Rider Masters Series heads to France for the Series Finale of 2019, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to share the adventures of the final leg with you all.
It was an early start yesterday (Thursday) morning with a 4.30am alarm (albeit with a Toby-themed alarm throughout the night – they always know when you have to get up early don’t they?!). I had a quick pit stop to drop a car seat off with my Mum (childcare logistics!), before tackling the M25 and heading to Heathrow to fly to Paris.
Paris always seems to be one of the most chaotic cities to drive in and poor Sam Albert, who is the ERM Rider Liaison, always seems to draw the short straw to take the wheel with me as her chief navigator. Lignières is actually quite a drive, being located about 3 and a half hours south of the capital, so once we escaped the chaos of Paris - with its motorcycles who all try to dice with death by weaving in the traffic - we entertained ourselves with eating too many sweets and rapping to Shaggy on the way. To say I was actually rapping is a bit of an exaggeration perhaps, but it passed the time!
It was nearly 6.30pm once we arrived in Lignières . The sun was setting and what an incredible location it is. Nestled in the French countryside, the grandstand overlooks the racecourse which boasts part of the brand new 4*S Cross Country track built especially for this Series Finale. There is a lovely relaxed atmosphere (helped along by ‘Happy Hour’ that happens every evening at 7.30pm!) and you can absolutely see why this venue is a favourite of the likes of Team Price and Ros Canter.
As we arrived it was a really quick turnaround to film the Dressage Draw which was scheduled for 6.45pm, so, with a quick change, a handy hairband and a blitz of some fresh makeup, it was straight in front of a camera. Always fun after 14 hours of travelling, but it’s amazing what wonders makeup can do!!
Emmanuel Lagarde, who is the Event Director here, did the Draw with me and he was brilliant fun, it is well worth a watch in full which you can do here.
It’s a top class field here and with Oliver Townend first down the centre line at 10.15am CET tomorrow (Saturday) there are plenty of tests throughout the competition you won’t want to miss. Alex Bragg finishes things up in the first phase as he is drawn last at 1pm.
The weather today is not quite so nice, we had a fair bit of rain overnight but it is significantly warmer today than it was yesterday so fingers crossed it will stay dry today.
I had better go to do some work now but I’ll check back in soon with another Lignières update for you all 😊