Show Report Part 8: THUNDERSTRUCK….yayayayay Thunderstruck!

Ok, we got it, summer in Austria 2014 is somewhere between snow, sun (yeah, I saw it once, when I was riding at the show at Tiffany’s a week ago – 34degC and sweating!!!!), rain, thunderstorms, hail… The forecast for the last weekend in July was bad but I thought they might be wrong. I chose to ride a first and a second level, preliminary schedules said I would not start until the later afternoon, thus, we only prepared Hafl on the respective Saturday. I washed him during bright sunlight but we could see some clouds coming up… As there were more and more, we decided to leave, once again direction Styria, about 150kms drive. We left the stable and drove only a few kms until we reached Klagenfurt where a huge thunderstorm with hail (OMG it was so loud in the car – Hafl, I could see him on camera, was so unimpressed I cannot tell!) and floodings! Enormous amounts of water on the way – luckily enough, we were driving away from the weather, and soon, we could see the sky and sun again. Going further East, there was rain again, reaching Graz, weather looked pretty decent. When unloading Hafl, there were some small drops but it was still ok.


First test went pretty well, we were placed 7th out of 26 starters with a 6.8. No rain. Back to the indoor, approximately 40mins left to the next entry. All of a sudden, sky turned dark grey and a huge thunderstorm came up. There was even a loss of electricity for a second due to the lightning – loud thunder, again an enormous amount of rain! I was watching this bizarre scenery from the indoor and was already waiting for the cancellation. Only 10mins before my entry time, the rain was gone, leaving the show ring flooded! There was still thunder and lightning, but only light rain – so off we went to our dressage ring! Hafl had huge problems walking in the flooded arena – oh my, that would be a disaster! Last time we had such conditions, we only got a 4.5! So we rode, he did what he can – and I was really feeling sorry for him! Simple changes were sliding stops, counter canter was sort of hopping and trying to get his feet out of the mud – too bad, because he was feeling pretty ok in the warm up! Leaving the ring with my head shaking I was surprised: we got a 6.2! Not only we got a ribbon (we were placed second and last) and a nice trophy, but also a savings book with a little amount of money! HOORAY!!! At least, when we headed back home there was no more rain, only when we unloaded Hafl at home it started again – at almost 11pm and a day full of adventures!



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