We have been here in Shanghai for five days already before the show officially started. All our horses arrived good and fresh which meant we had lots of fun the first days exercising! During these days we also managed to use our free time in the evenings to explore the city. Shanghai is not normal in so many ways! Our first outing was to the market to pick up some 'cheap' goods! This is an amazing place, it's a 4 level shopping mall full of small stalls with crazy Chinese sales people chasing us down to make a deal! For us English this is heaven as we bargin and haggle for hours! We also managed to visit a couple of nice restaurants and bars in the evenings and of course this led to a few sore heads in the mornings!
Thursday was vet check day which meant the arrival of most of the riders. Marco rode both van and alien in the afternoon and luckily all was ok. Harry had no need to ride in the afternoon as top groom Alex had already ridden before vet check.
Today was the first days jumping. With only two horses each it's not so stressful. This meant that Alex found time to clean his head collars and brasso them after much encouragement from a few of us. This is a major achievement just to get Alex out of the hammock when he has spare time! :) Alien also had a nice morning hand walk where he got to meet some new friends. Most of the Chinese quarantine vets here have never actually touched horses before so alien is the perfect horse to meet and greet. 20 minutes and about 100 selfies and photos later it was time to do some work.
The first class was a 2phase and van placed second in this class so good start for us. Regina was double clear and placed as well. The second class was the big money jump off class! Alex was super organised for this and even plaited walnut whilst sporting his new 'Bluetooth' headphones! He was like a kid at at Christmas explaining how they work! But at least Walnut got some nice plaits as Alex wanted to take his time so he could use the headphones for longer! Alien went with out plaits today, personally I think he looks best like this all wild and crazy like he is!
Walnut had one down in the first round and Alien was clear. The weather here has been a bit unpredictable the first 2 days saw some serious rain storms and then the last days the weather has been super hot. Alien was 13th and last to go in the jump-off. When the first 5 horses were jumping the jump-off the weather was nice but by horse number 8 the heavens opened and the rain set in! Luckily for us Alien isn't concerned about this as there's far more scary things for him to look at in the ring! Alien was AWESOME in the jump off and was super fast and went into the lead by over 1second!!! Good boy little pony!!!
As always Alien stood like a rock during the prize giving in the pouring rain, by the time they came out he and Marco were totally drenched! Last ones back into the stable so time to get organised and finished up for the night, luckily there's enough of us to all pitch in and help because as usual Alex never finishes! Dinner at the show and now the minibus ride back to the hotel, hopefully tomorrow goes as well for us and that Alex's luck gets more!
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