After a very successful show at Valencia it was Monday morning and we arrived at Olivia Nova for another 3 weeks of jumping. The horses were feeling fantastic and I was very excited to see what the show would have in store for us. For the next few days the horses got to switch off and go a walk along the beach as well as some easy flat work days. Thursday arrived and it was the first day of competition for Indi and Eagle. They popped round a 1.20m with both of them going double clear and Eagle picked up 2nd place. I was delighted with both of them and very much looking forward to jumping the next day. It was an early start on Friday as Annie was early to go in the first class. We were all organised with Annie and I ready to go. I walked the course and as I walked back to the stables I could feel something wasn’t right.
Everyone had gone from being calm and still half asleep to rushing around with a look of panic on their faces. I walked faster to get back to the stables where Dan and my mum were to find out what was going on. As I got there, all I saw was Annie had been untacked. Not only were Dan and my mum not there but almost everyone was no where to be seen. The girl stabled next to me came round the corner and explained as she was rush past that the the Spanish government had put Spain into lockdown and the 2000 people on the show ground had 3 hours to get off site. It was now a race against time to get to the French border as there was talk of France going into lock down too. We traveled through Spain and in to France. The next day we arrived at Calais ferry port at 4am as well as a few other British that had convoyed with us. They all got through but we were asked to wait where we were.
Not sure was was going on we waited in silence as outside there was a lot of shouting and commotion. We could hear footprints above our heads in the cab so we assumed the police were having a look on the roof. Suddenly it went silent. Not long after there was a loud knock on the cab door. I looked at mum and with her nod of approval I reluctantly opened the door. A police officer explained to us that at some point along our journey 5 immigrants had climbed up the ladders attached to our ramp to get to the storage area on the roof in an attempt to cross the border. We were then waved through, eventually boarded the ferry and arrived in the UK a few hours later. We had been living in a fantasy bubble for the first 4/5 weeks of Coronavirus so we had no idea how serious it had become. Arriving in the UK was a slap of reality with almost every shelf in the supermarkets being empty. It’s very uncertain times for us all.
Stay safe, Annie