Last weekend saw us on the road to Cornwall again for the latest match in the BHAA International series. A team from Holland came over for a three-way tournament with a GB team and a GB under 18 team. Alex was on the GB senior team, and as of last Thursday, so was Ali (at the grand old age of 15), as one of the other adults had to drop out.
So, cramming the car full of camping gear, archery gear and the obligatory case of cider from our sponsor (and cheese from Alex’s sponsor), we headed down the M5 to Old Mill Stables, near St Ives, or nearly as far as you can go south west without the car getting wet. One day we really should get to go to a comp that’s not a stupidly long drive away. Although it was a lot further for the Dutch!
We got to the stables before dark, threw the tent up and went to the pub. No sign of anyone else, so we had a quick pint and retired to bed. The next morning we were up early, largely due to the cockerels at the stables who apparently believe that morning starts at 4 am when it’s still dark……
As usual, there was a fair amount of standing around chatting to be done before some horses emerged down at the archery field and the process of matching mounts to archers began. Ali started off on Dolly, who is a mare very much with a mind of her own, and having never had a left-handed archer on board before, decided she didn’t really want to go down the run that way round. So we went to plan B which was an equally feisty mare called Tia who seemed to be permanently in season. Alex rode a nice little pony called Charlie who was of course remarkably straightforward compared to the mares……
After lunch (Cornish pasties) we did the Hungarian competition. This being something we don’t get to practise much, the scores weren’t great. By the end of the day, the under 18 team was in the lead, followed by the Dutch and finally our (mostly) over 18 team.
The Dutch all rode really well and of course Dolly was as good as gold for one of their team……
After the competition was over for the day, we retired to the caravan site next door, where the accommodation for the rest of the teams was a lot more civilised than ours, and drank cider and ate cheese. Then in the evening it was time for a trip to the pub for dinner.
Sunday morning kicked off with the Korean competition, our girls did a bit better with this one, but by lunchtime (more pasties) the U18s were still in the lead. That afternoon was the Mamluk competition, this is a more interesting take on the Korean track, with such things as a target on the “wrong” side of the track and one flat on the floor, called a jarmaki. This is a lot of fun, but very challenging. The girls gave it a good go though.
The Queen of the Mamluk course turned out to be Charlotte from the Dutch team who scored amazingly well (if you hit all 4 targets you get extra bonus points) and snatched victory for the visitors away from Team Teen.
So it was a great weekend, we met some lovely new archers and came away with a bronze medal and some sunburn. Here’s to the next one 🙂