Esmarelda lends a hoof at the Event Rider Masters

Esmarelda lends a hoof at the Event Rider Masters

Walking out of the front door to an ear deafening clang coming from the post box was a little disconcerting as I knew I was expecting a guest… Esmarelda was here!

We had a quiet first couple of days at home working through the mountain of projects that had piled up after my trip to Badminton where I was supporting the amazing 4* rider (I still do a little squeak when I write that), James Sommerville and his incredible horse Talent at their first go at the top level. Despite an untimely and unusual parting of ways at fence 19, they both did us all VERY proud!

After Esmarelda's initial complaints, the bed wasn't comfy enough, the grass was too green, the coffee was too strong etc etc. she settled down and spent some quality time with our resident Little Legs, Finn. Accompanying him to school as his ‘treasure’ the other children thought she was wonderful – boy can she turn it on when she needs to!

Most put out that I had dragged her away from Finn and his mountain of cuddly toys very early on Friday morning, we began the first of our journeys to the incredible Chatsworth Estate near Bakewell in Derbyshire to join the team for leg one of the Event Rider Masters (ERM). After making diva-like demands ALL the way there, the lovely (said through gritted teeth) Esmarelda was very quickly silenced as we drove through the stunning Golden Gates and into Chatsworth Park.

After introducing her to the team our first job was to head to the stables with one of the amazing RedHanded TV crew to get some footage which was to be used in the promo clips (and on the actual tele highlights) for the ERM coverage. We got to meet the amazing Quicklook V (Princess Pebbles, who went on to win – #girlpower) and her lovely jockey Gemma Tattersall. Filming her being washed down after her final dressage tune-up with Ian Woodhead was incredible, she goes totally spotty when she's wet!

Esmarelda was not keen on having another (more important) princess around and behaved like a complete spoilt brat so I banished her to the car for the rest of the day. She was VERY quiet on the way home!

The first day of the first leg of the 2017 ERM series was next and it meant a whole day of Dressage… Boring I hear you all shout – no chance, not with the seeding system that ERM employ when accepting entries and the ‘live draw’ for running orders which see the competitors split into 4 groups based on their horse’s current ranking. Everyone was glued to the arena all day excited to see the calibre of competitor rise as the competition went on and we were not disappointed! With five CIC3* tests in the 30s coming from the final group the bar was set for the rest of the season and indeed the rest of the Chatsworth Leg. Esmarelda and I were lucky enough to have back stage seats all weekend working between rider liaison and the commentary team, we were right in the thick of it.

One of the best parts of my job is the cross over that I get with my lovely clients. A major one for this season is the sponsorship of the ERM owner prizes by Team Monart. With a two-night midweek B&B stay at the incredible Monart Spa in Ireland up for grabs, (it’s regularly voted top 3 in the world) for the winning owner of each leg and a 2 night B&B stay in the amazing Executive Suite for the Monart Sale (7th & 8th Nov 2017) going to the winning owner of the series it was lovely to see Niall and Polly (the brains and the beauty behind Team Monart) at Chatsworth competing some of their own #MonartGraduates. I think Esmarelda fell a bit in love with Monart’s Madiba (Joey) who really is a little bit gorgeous!

Sunday was by far Esmarelda’s busiest day and believe it or not she behaved impeccably (if you are “lucky” enough to have her visit you for goodness sake keep her busy). We were in the privileged position to be able to witness the ERM Showjumping from the commentary studio while presenter extraordinaire Nicole Brown & the amazing Diarm from EquiRatings did their thing. The jumping runs in reverse order to add pressure and excitement, and boy does it work. With the overnight leaders, Thomas Carlile and the amazing 9 year old grey stallion Upsilon having an uncharacteristic stop it opened the door for Gemma and Pebbles who had jumped an impeccable round to sit top of the leader board going into the Cross Country.

Esmarelda got herself quite over excited at the technology that ERM work with which includes the SAP Cross Country tracking system. Able to follow everyone during their rounds so closely that she could even see their stride length, she was beside herself when Quicklook V (Princess Pebbles) won. Immediately declaring her, her new BFF after their encounter earlier in the week, Esmerelda couldn't wait to head to the podium to congratulate her and Gemma!

Dragging her away from Chatsworth was no easy feat and only possible because I promised she could sit on the dashboard with our Chatsworth car pass all the way home (and the fact that we were dropping Diarm (Mr EquiRatings) at the airport on our way back. I think she secretly had a huge crush on him and that freakily amazing statistical brain of his…

Back down to earth with a bump on Monday when I had an even bigger pile of paperwork to get through with projects for Noble Outfitters, FMBs Therapy Systems, Springwood Tree Services and my lovely Pops’ Peter Snowden Ceramics to complete this week, its been work work work for the last 4 days!

I think I might maybe be a tiny little bit sad to pop Esmarelda back into her little envelope and into the post box at the end of the road but her journey must go on… to her next host, GOOD LUCK!

View the gallery of images from Esmarelda's trip

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