After a 3am set off we arrived at Zangersheide, Lanaken in the afternoon on Wednesday 26th October. We found the Great British barn of stables, settled the horse and then went to get our numbers and hand in our passports.
We then had to get through the vet check; this entailed a trot up, done simultaneously with other young horses. It was a little crazy with lots of excited horses, but we got through it. Day one and the first track was 1.25m for the 5yo horses. It consisted of technical bold fences, wide oxers and a tight time which encouraged forward riding. Carnaval Gem jumped superbly, having a really unlucky four faults at the last but one fence.
Day two involved an equally strong track, including a testing combination, and a spooky water which caught a few horses out. I was determined we would jump a clear, and we did well within the time allowed. Unfortunately our unlucky four faults on day one meant we could not contest the final. Hence I was one of nearly 200 to take part in the consolation. This was a speed round with interesting turn backs and related distances. Carnaval Gem was superb, posting a great clear in a good time. He finished a creditable 25th. A great result amongst some of the best five year olds in the world.
The long journey home then began! All went smoothly, arriving home at 2am the following morning. I couldn't have been more pleased with my young horse at his first international show. The venue and experience was absolutely awesome! We are now aiming for Dunkirk International, then some of the good shows in the UK such as Bury farm and the Grand prix show at Crofton Manor.