Tuesday, November 07, 2006

National Equestrian Championships 2006 in Cochabamba

October 2nd-8th I spent in Cochabamba for the National Equestrian Championships, which took place at the “Country Club”, an impressive club right by the lagoon. Tuesday and Wednesday I was signed up to compete in the Open Dressage Category, and if it weren’t for Dina my psychological rock who saved me from myself via text messages about 3min before I had to get onto my horse on Tuesday, I might very well have given in to my pseudo panic attack and run away to never be seen again! Thank you Dina. And it turns out my horse was indeed the prettiest (which is what dressage is all about), so I won! I WON! I actually won at Nationals. Insane. Day two was nearly a repeat of Day 1 except without the nervous breakdown and with the added perk of having journalists run after me to interview me! Talk about making me feel like a star! And having won the two consecutive days, Bolero (my stunning stallion) and I became the official National Champions of Open Dressage! Qui l’eut cru Lustucru!

Thursday, Friday and Saturday was showjumping (see pic above for a stunning shot of Bolero and I going over a jump... Ignore the fact that I am headless, that's beside the point). Clearly, Bolero got a taste for being a champion and liked it, because we came in 6th on Thursday and 1st on Friday (see the photo bottom right for us getting our prizes), making us the hot favourites for the Champion title for Quinta Category… except all good things have to end, and on Saturday – having been totally thrown off by my French coach actually yelling out a cheer as I entered the ring – I did the only thing I had to avoid doing in order to win… I fell off! It was so absurd and so agravating that I actually got up smiling, and my coach waited until we were back in La Paz to let me know that I had a 20 point advance and that I really truly just threw away the championship title. Ooooops. On the right, me talking to my coach Cedric after one of my courses.

On Wednesday I went out for Chicha and to play Cacho and Rayuela with Rodrigo, Thursday Alice and Andrew arrived, Friday we went out to Cerebritos for some funky shots (I only had a few symbolic ones) and a long game of UNO with friendly strangers, and yes the ultimate conclusion of the week is that to do well in riding competitions I need a lot of sleep and rest and tranquility, sigh.

Hanging out with the whole Sargentos’ crew was a lot of fun, they are a riot. Didn’t get to eat at the market, but it’s ok – I will just have to go back eventually, teehee. And overall, I was (and still am) absolutely utterly thrilled with how it all went, Bolero is my star and I love the humongous ribbons (plus the three medals!) I won, teehee.

Thanks Alice for the photos! :)


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