THE CURSE OF THE CAR


This blog actually started on the plane with the title WE ARE IN THE AIR. Once I arrived in Melbourne it changed . Read on to follow the story.


Finally contra to all my fears we have lifted off from Perth and it's Tuesday 6.30pm on the 29/8/2014.
Ben and I are on a Toll plane with Pascal IRTs flying groom. This plane is what you may call small. A palate just fits. Ben is right at the front.


I had been told there was another horse on the flight. Mmmm very small horse so small it's invisible but with a bag of carrots so far Ben is managing.


Pascal and I have plenty of leg room but not a jot of padding on the seats. Inflight entertainment is decidedly low other than Ben banging on the door. I do have a pillow but I'm not sure I fancy leaning on the door. Food is non existent apart from Bens carrots and Julie McWhirters box of Cadbury fund raising chocolates.


Oh yes I also forgot to mention our sexy flying attire. A high viz vest is fine it's the particularly sexy contraption of ropes hooks and eyes over the top that really sets the scene. Shades of grey has nothing on this look. The ear plugs are just Pascals very sensible addition to the ensemble. Very impressive they are even the same colour as the vest so it is well coordinated at least.  Anyway it will certainly beat about 36 hours of driving. Thanks Equestrian Australia for booking us on.


 
Probably the person I feel most sorry for at this stage is Caroline Taylor.

Caroline made the mistake of becoming friends with my parents one Melbourne 3 day. Foolishly Caroline then offered to have me my friends and ponies to stay any time I like, well I'm not sure about the friends but she hasn't complained yet.
I can't actually remember her offering to pick Ben and me up from the airport at midnight on a Tuesday night but bless her she is. The question is will this good friend still be a friend by morning? And the best is yet to come.


As I have mentioned in a previous blog the aim was to do a gallop on the 4/8 by which stage I was to be at Boneo Park. Tonight as I am waiting at airport Nathan our team vet came up with idea may be better to gallop on the 30/8, yes tomorrow.
Surely I can come up with a plan to get from Ballarat to Boneo tomorrow morning! As was once said to me there are no problems only solutions. Shame my phone doesn't work on here. Mind you I doubt anyone could hear me any way.
So I shall continue to sit here wishing I had remembered a book and just plan a way through tomorrow.


Well it's now the night of the 30/8 and fortunately the main player in all this, Ben is fine however it has been a most entertaining 24 hours.

Ben travelled great but when we unloaded at Melbourne I was informed that Caroline had broken down on her way to the airport. Great. Anyway plans were in place and Gouldeners transport collected us from the airport and took us to Plumpton Park. Fortunately not only did they have a stable for Ben but a bed for me. I had been picturing Bens spare rug and a sawdust floor.


My alarm seemed to go off at a horrid hour and it was swing into action. Let's create a plan how do you get yourself and your horse from Plumpton Park meet up with your gear which is at Caroline's in Ballarat and get it all to the Mornington Peninsular to be ready to gallop at 1pm?


After a fair bit of wrangling it was organised. Great friend Neil Clinton jumped in his car and brought a float to Plumpton Park then took us to Caroline's where we collected our gear. Then because time just wasn't going to allow us to get to Mornington to gallop Cara Kavanagh from Racing Victorias horse welfare program organised for us to gallop on the Ballarat track


 
What a treat. It is the sort of place that just makes you grin. The track is an all weather 1200m up hill trip. Lined by big trees to start with, then the view from the top was super. I'm really cross with myself for forgetting my camera.


Having galloped under team vet Nathan Anthony we loaded him up and headed to Boneo Park where Fiona McNaught had kindly offered Ben a bed. Of course it wasn't a straight run. A broken truck in the tunnel slowed it down but eventually nearly 500km after he left home Neil was able to get home.


So now Ben is in his bed and I am delighted to be about to hit mine!