Trips Abroad 2006
World Equestrian Games 2006 – Aachen
39 members had a lovely trip to WEG and congratulations to the GB team of
- Laura Bechtolsheimer (Douglas Dorsey)
- Wayne Channon (Lorenzo)
- Emma Hindle (Lancet)
- Sandy Phillips (Lara)
on finishing in 6th place and qualifying for the Special.
A TRIUMPH OF TEAMWORK
Report by Gwilym Owen
Judy and I were looking forward to joining the BDSC trip to Aachen, renewing friendships formed on earlier trips and making new friends. Judy breaking her arm (horses, of course) interrupted our preparations but, knowing how good the BDSC trips are, we did not consider cancelling for more than a few minutes.
Monday morning and 17 of us meet at Lorries’ home at about 5:30 am. Road reports said the M25 was shut clockwise between the Dartford crossing and us. We were due to leave at 6am to arrive in Dover at 8am meeting up with the rest of the party and catching the ferry. Chris, the coach driver, was delayed by another accident on the M11. Using his local knowledge Chris missed the M25 delays and we were entering Dover at 8am when Lorries’ phone rang with one of the 17 in the Dover group wondering where we were.
35 of us arrived at the Hotel Riche in Valkenburg in pouring rain. The luggage was unloaded into the reception area, rather than people having to wait in the rain, while the hotel staff registered their new guests. Breakfast each morning is normally served at 7:15am but we were due to leave at 7am next day in order to watch the start of the dressage competition. Lorrie worked her magic on the hotel staff and they agreed to serve full breakfast, including bacon and scrambled eggs, from 6am.
The 4 members of the party coming from Scotland were not so lucky with their travelling arrangement, being delayed in Schipol for 8 hours and at least one set of baggage going missing.
Tuesday saw us arrive at the showground in time for the start of the competition. This is not the place for, and I am not qualified to deliver, a report on the tests: but the team done good. In addition to the dressage there was retail therapy and a wide variety of food and drink to enjoy. Poor Chris had a problem parking the coach because the long-term coach park he normally used was occupied by a fun fair; so he, and other coach drivers, had to use 2 hour parking bays and keep the coach moving.
Wednesday was a more civilised start and we did not need the hotel staff to start early. The bacon again got many good comments and people were beginning to understand the coffee machine. The dressage team continued to perform well with all 4 qualifying for the GP Special.
The journey back saw Lorrie trying to balance the wishes of various groups in the party for the next day. Some wanted to watch all of the eventing dressage, some wanted to arrive later and watch some dressage and enjoy the facilities at the showground whilst others wanted to go into Aachen to explore the city. By the end of the 30-minute journey Lorrie, with Penny’s help, had identified the key milestones during the day allowing each of the 39 to enjoy their preferred combination of activities and still arrive at the hotel together at the end of the day.
Thursday itself started with another problem for Lorrie when one of the party had lost their ticket. However she resolved that problem and everyone enjoyed the combination of activities available to them.
Friday and we set off for the GP Special. The cream of world dressage was there and the event climaxed with the Fabulous Five. What a way to end a competition, so good, so close and with so many up and coming horses and riders. The cream on top for us was that Emma qualified for the Kur.
More conflicting demands, some wanted to see all of the cross country whilst others preferred a more leisurely start in view of the midnight finish for the Kur. Again Lorrie managed to accommodate everyone, with Chris’s co-operation. Before the start of the Kur we attended an evening reception celebrating the dressage team’s success in achieving at least 2 ‘firsts’, 4 qualifiers for the GP Special and a qualifier for the Kur. This was organised by Desi Dillingham of British Dressage to meet the riders and their support team.
Wonderful performances in the Kur culminating in a win for Anky.
Sunday and a leisurely start for most of us, including church services for some. However 2 or 3 did get up early and caught a taxi to the showground to watch the ‘trot up’. The eventing show jumping was very exciting, culminating in a Silver for the British team and an individual Gold for Zara Phillips. Lorrie persuaded the hotel to extend the opening hours of their brasserie and we all enjoyed a meal to celebrate the trip.
Team work is important in achieving success in most walks of life, but it requires someone special to lead the team to success. Lorrie is that special person when it comes to these trips. Her first trip was to the WEG in Rome, this was her tenth BDSC trip, and she is already planning next years trip to Turin. She has the patience of a saint, the persistence of a Rottweiler and the planning skills of Hannibal. She is ably supported by Penny and the rest of the BDSC committee. Everyone who enjoys these trips owes them a great vote of thanks.
Roll on Turin 2007.