Just Jonelle, Jess and Grappa Nera (Grape) on a road trip to Maarsbergen in Holland for Grape’s 4*S qualification in case she is called up to the Paris squad and Grape, being a proper working girl, thought it simply marvellous that she is back in work and heading for an event with just Jonelle.  They set off in the Mini ( the two horse) on Tuesday night with Grape having a business class space and I really cant remember the last time Jonelle went to an International on such an amateur basis!

They arrived safe and sound on Wednesday morning with no dramas and an 8am arena familiarisation scheduled for today before the test this morning.  Maarsbergen don’t hang around which is very refreshing, dressage this morning, showjumping tomorrow morning, cross country tomorrow afternoon and heading home by 5pm!  It is so refreshing when Millstreet and Luhmuhlen drag the 4S out over 4 days and works well for Grape’s busy mind.

Grape scored a 35.7 which is better than it sounds as she is 5th out of 21 starters.  They seem to be marking pretty hard with several competitors not even getting a qualifying score and as Jonelle put it, “having to do a test just 21 hours after arrival is quite the challenge with Grape but she really held it together”.  Jonelle did add that there were certainly moments of tension before the changes and the canter half pass but Grape absolutely held her opinions in check and never actually let her nerves get the better of her.  It’s progress for sure!

Jonelle describes the Maarsbergen set up as being “really beautiful” with hundreds of acres of beautiful woods, a superb course designed by Eric Winter and a really lovely atmosphere.

https://www.maarsbergenhorsetrials.nl/en/ for results but no live scoring and sadly no livestream.

Shot from Jonelle’s insta below.