Masters Du Cheval Ibérique
My Paris Journey - Rebecca Brennand
I’ve owned Albero for 3 nearly 4 yrs now. He came over from Spain as a sales horse but after only a few weeks I knew he was something special inside and out. He thinks he’s the yard dog not the potential international horse that he is. He has no idea he has a body and legs generally until you sit on him and it’s like something just clicks.
We have been working on our partnership slowly and progressively over the time we’ve been together and I trust him implicitly, riding him until two days before I gave birth and competing a month before BUT....... On the 3rd May I honestly never thought I’d sit down again never mind ride in time to qualify Albero for the MCI European Championship in Paris. After a very difficult birth with 18 stitches where you don’t want 18 stitches, my gorgeous little boy arrived, I could barely walk and sit down but as time went on, as I’m sure all you horsey mums out there know, you do get better it just takes time. Seven weeks later I had my first sit on and survived, although I might add I did put the saddle onto the wall where I could add human and box intervention in case it didn’t go well on landing let’s say!
It then seemed a possibility with 4 potential shows (you need 3 scores to qualify) that I could actually pull this off. Albero was feeling great, scoring 70+% at all his qualifiers with 2 scores over 73%. Next big question was could I afford to go? After doing all my sums and asking the best mum in the world we decided the trip was on. We could have done with at least 3 lorries for all our “stuff”, I thought it was bad when we had just horsey things to take but add a 5 month old baby into the equation and OMG!
Tuesday 10th October came and we all set off hubby following in the car.
Last year we qualified for Italy and only got to Dijon in France when Albero got travel sickness and we decided it wasn’t worth carrying on. It scared the life out of me and Mum, I have never seen a horse with travel sickness before. The speed it come over him was terrible, His temperature was 41 and he was shaking from head to hoof within 30 minutes of arriving. Amazingly the stables we were at in Dijon had a onsite vet and although it was around 8pm the vets were having a meeting. They must have wondered what the hell was going on when Mum and me burst into room trying to speak school girl French and explain what was wrong!
(editor add: This link contains info on travel sickness
This made travelling this year a big worry especially when our sailing out was very rough but I needn’t have worried as he travelled great and landed fresh and ready.
After a little leg stretch on Thursday we were ready for our first day of competition, well clearly Albero was, I wasn’t!! Losing 1% due to halting at “I”, well I thought I was at “I” but obviously I wasn’t I was at “G”! For goodness sake I mean really...... the best bit is I have qualified all year halting at my version of “I” and no other judges have noticed lol. So we had to settle for silver, such a hardship (hope you can all read my sarcasm)! Although I was chuffed to bits with Albero I would have quite happily slapped myself for letting him down!
After a good pep talk from hubby and Mum I pulled myself together to ride the freestyle on the Saturday, I was really looking forward to it and had made our floor plan reasonably tricky and loved my music. We did it, we did our test without mistakes and although Albero was tired and lost some ping towards the end, I felt we had done as much as we could and only time would tell if it was enough.
Once the scores had been released and it was official that we had won the freestyle it felt fantastic and it was now just the wait for the official combined results. Had we done enough to put us into European Champion spot or would we just miss out? It was at this point the organisers computers decided to break down so the wait was even more agonizing............. Eventually it was put up OMGOODNESS we had done it, European Champions! It might not be a gold medal or a Grand Prix win but he’s mine and I’m proud to say we have come this far and won what we have won. He is a one in a million horse and I can’t wait for the rest of our journey to unfold..........Watch this space
What is the MCI?
Masters Du Cheval Ibérique. The association was created in 1997 and is for Dressage specifically for the Iberian Horses. Dress code includes Spanish/Portuguese and Classical and has competitors from across Europe.
MCI 2017 Championships
The 21st Championships was held in Paris at the Parc Equestre Francilien on the 12-15th October 2017. The report from the show can be found in English here -
Next year the Championships will be held here in the UK from 5 to 7 October 2018 at the Addington Manor Equestrian Center
2nd Great Britain