Hello, my name is Holly Kerslake and I want to tell you all about my first overseas trip represented GB, it was so much fun!
My Pony Zorro is an 8 yr old welsh cob stallion that we imported from Denmark last year. We have had such an exciting first year together at FEI level which has led to us recently being selected as 1st Reserve for the European Championship team heading off to Hungary in July.
We are currently on the GB Prime squad and part of the criteria to be considered for European selection is to attend two International shows overseas.
Our first International show was in March this year at Keysoe where we had a great show resulting in top 3 placing’s. Shortly after this we then received the fantastic news that we had been selected for Sint Truden in Belgium.
This is when the excitement really began, we had been looking for a new HGV lorry for several month realizing that we needed more space to go away for a week at a time and literally the week before we found one and the deal was done, just a couple of days to clean and load but mum managed it J My Alan Davies brushes were at the top of my list of essentials to take away!
As it was our first time away we decided to use a shipping agent to help us organize the trip, export papers, booking the train on the euro tunnel (unfortunately Zorro wouldn’t be patient enough to stand on the lorry for 1.5hrs on a ferry crossing) Vet check before we leave, Toll readers for Belgium….it was a big long list!
On the first night of our trip we stayed at Parkers International Transport over night at Dover (about a 6/7hr trip for us) so that we could get on the train at 7.30 the following morning!
A quick look around duty-free and then it was time for dad to negotiate the tight squeeze on to the train, the crossing was great! 35 mins, hardly any movement and 4G all the way :)
Once we arrived in Calais it took us about 3.5 hrs to arrive at the venue in Belgium, a beautiful place surrounded by 100”s of apple trees.
Once we had settled Zorro in to his stable we were then greeted with a lovely box of apples for each pony from the organisers, I obviously had to do a quality control check and they were delicious! There was even a very kind man who gave dad a lift on his forklift with my locker over to the stables.
The next day was the vet check which Zorro flew through and then the draw for the team test the following day. I felt quite a bit of pressure as not only did the line up include ponies that were ranked No1 & No3 in the World, 6 of them were in the top 8 at last years European Championships. To add to that Zorro’s breeder/part owner came to support us and his previous rider was there competing too so I knew I had to try my absolute best.
On day 1, after mum had turned Zorro out beautifully using the Alan Davies brushes (her favorite is the flicky brush, it’s just so easy to use to get rid of the dust and Zorro is such a dirty boy!) in the team test we managed to score a personal best of +70% and finished 4th behind 3 of the best ponies, we were delighted! And Zorro really enjoyed his lap of honour!
On the second day we scored another PB in the Individual, just under 70% and finished 5th which meant we were through to the music the following day!
My gorgeous boy danced his way to +71% finishing 6th.
I couldn’t of been happier with my results and can honestly say I had the best time ever, meeting new friends, enjoying the wonderful breakfast put on for all riders and the people were just so friendly and helpful. I would love to go back again if I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity.
I feel so extremely lucky to be a part of the Eqclusive team, the brushes have made such a difference, stallions can notoriously be quite dirty and since using my brushes, their coats are just so much cleaner! I wouldn’t be with out them :)