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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Farewell Vechta....I will miss you!

Well I am now home from an incredible experience training abroad. I may be forever changed.  I have already started thinking of how I will make it back. The trip home took about five days. I left on Tuesday the 14th at 4:30 in the afternoon on a truck with that transporting company Guido Klatte. We drove from Catherine's stable in Vechta about an hour away to the holding facility and unloaded the horses. I had four horses coming home with me. Wistar and three horses that clients had purchased and were shipping back with me to Summervale. I went to sleep at about 6 pm and was up again at 12:30 am to help load and make the 5 hour drive to the Amsterdam airport. We arrived to the airport by 6:00 am and I was scheduled to fly back as a groom for the flight and proceeded to help load the 20 horses that were scheduled to fly from Amsterdam to LAX later that morning.

 There were 7 pallets to be loaded onto the plane, the maximum amount aloud. Once each pallet was loaded then the horses were to just patiently wait until it was time to be driven out onto the tarmac and loaded onto the plane. They stood about 2-3 hours while paper work was filled out and to allow time in case there were any problems that should arise. Once the horses were ready to load onto the plane then the grooms were sent to check in as regular passengers and go through security, then load onto the plane. Once on the plane we were seated in the back row and were able to go back and look after the horses. The door into the cargo area always remained locked and the KLM attendant would have to come back with the grooms to check in on the horses as needed. Again I was able to stand with the horses during take off and landing which was greatly appreciated as it is rather an exciting time. The horses all handled it beautifully. We arrived into LAX after the 11 hour flight and I was not able to see them again from Wed at 1:00 pm as they went into quarantine until Friday morning at 10:00 am when they were released and I was able to make the 2 day drive home to our farm in Roy, WA. Here is a picture of the horses coming off the pallet and being checked just before entering quarantine at Jet Pets.

I pulled into Summervale Farm at 9:00 pm on Saturday the 18th. I was so relieved to make it through the three Mt. passes that were calling for heavy snow fall. Yikes! Everything worked out wonderfully and I am extremely motivated to implement all that I have learned towards the riding, management, and the many different aspects of running a good business. Catherine Haddad was an excellent choice. She and her staff made my trip very informative and it was a trip of a life time. I am very grateful for all of the wonderful people that I met during my stay and the incredible horses that I was able to watch in their work and had the opportunity to ride. I took so may tools home with me that will improve all of my horses not just Wistar, although he made some great progress as well. I am truly inspired.

 A special thank you to The Dressage Foundation for this special award, it was truly an incredible experience, my husband Alex for being so supportive in helping me reach my dreams, Charlene Summers for breeding such an incredible horse and allowing me to carry on a partnership with him for the last 11 years, Catherine Haddad for welcoming me into your stable and being so giving of your knowledge, Paula Helm for all of your guidance, and to all of my sponsors, friends, and family that have been so supportive and encouraging through this journey. Many thanks!

PSI annual auction in Ankum, Germany

This was a wonderful event to experience. The presentation of horses was skillfully run and the bidding was exciting for all. In the end, PSI brought in over 12 million Euro and sold horses to many of the top countries of equestrian sport.

My very good friend Paula Helm came to visit me during my last week in Germany. We attended the Sat show case presentation of the auction horses Dec 12th and then the live auction the following day. It was truly amazing the prices these animals went for. The least expensive horse was bought for $75,000 Euro and the most expensive was a jumper mare for $800,000 Euro.  We had a blast watching but were very careful to keep our hands low and not make any sudden movements that might be mistaken for a bid.