Chantilly, France—Aug. 24
We’ve been training in Chantilly before we head to Normandy—it has already been one hell of an experience. First and foremost: there is no lacking in Team Morale!!
The perfect blend of humor, talent and drive has brought this team together and makes me honored to be included in the mix. In Chantilly, we all have been staying at a hotel together about 10 minutes from the barn and I think the thin French walls have made sure we all know each other well! The days start with a cup of rocket fuel coffee in the restaurant and then we all carpool to the barn to start our day.
One of the coolest parts of this time is spending the time watching each other’s lessons. It’s a unique opportunity to watch some of the best in the world train day-in and day-out, and it’s something during “real life” that we simply don’t have the time to do. The farm is beautiful with stone walls, hedges and a moat. We have three arenas, a sand track and two barns.
The “hang out” spot is the office where there is WiFi, cheese and bread… what more could one want! At the end of the day we meet here and discuss the next day’s schedule and any logistical plans such as heading to the gallop or when farriers or vets are coming. The gallop at Chantilly is one of the most beautiful tracks in the world. The beauty literally took my breath away when Tate and I stepped onto the track for the first time last week.
We headed up for accreditation in Normandy yesterday. We took a train from Chantilly to Paris, and then grabbed a taxi to the next train station which got us onto a 3-hour train to Normandy. Successfully herding six American eventers and a coach was a job only Joanie Morris could do. Somehow we managed to get there and back having to run through the streets only once (trying to catch our last train) but we got there with four minutes to spare!
The horses left for Normandy with the grooms at 4 a.m. this morning to beat Paris traffic and should arrive to Normandy by 8 a.m. The riders and David will head up around 10 a.m. to get there for an afternoon ride.
The horses look fantastic, the team energy is magnetic, and we are ready to represent the United States of America!
I’ll be trying to keep you all in the loop throughout the week! Thank you for all of the support and wish us luck!