International show jumper Leonora Smee has recently returned from a show at Gut Ising, a beautiful village on Lake Chiemsee in Germany - here she reveals why this show was quite unlike any other...
"This is not your average horse show as the impressive estate has a four-star hotel, eight manor houses furnished in different traditional styles, various restaurants as well as the marvelous spa and wellness centre," says Leonora.
Set in stunning countryside the show jumping arena at Gut Ising overlooks a beautiful lake surrounded by breathtaking mountains.
"The show and jumping schedule is organised in a way that you are able to enjoy every aspect of what GUT Ising has to offer," says leonora. "And, in addition to the show jumping there is a large choice of other sports to enjoy whilst visiting including, polo, dressage, golf, tennis, sailing and swimming. Trust me you can’t get bored!"
During the first week of the horse festival Leonora competed in the Under 25 classes with, Waltons Top Flight and Caroli.
"We continued our good form, placing second in both U25 classes on Thursday 31stand Saturday 2nd September.
"Every evening the show organisers plan something spectacular, my favourite was the traditional Bavarian evening on the Friday night. With women in their dirndls and men wearing lederhosen’s, mugs of beer and a steel band everyone was on the tables dancing! The Germans do know how to party!"
During the second week Leonora competed in the CSI 2* with Waltons Top Flight.
"On the opening day we finished 6th in the very fast 1.40m speed class and then on Friday we achieved 3rd place in the 1.45m Grand Prix qualifier. Sunday was Grand Prix day, Waltons Top Flight jumped exceptionally well over the challenging 1.50m course, however unfortunately picking up four faults at the final fence which left us watching the jump off at the side lines.
In the end it was a victory for Jörg Opperman riding Che Guevara 17 while Tina Deuerer took second place with C.T. and Soenke Kohrock was third with Transpofix Contact me Girl.
"Overall the show was a fantastic event. I am very lucky and grateful that I am able to travel the world competing at such excellent venues. Our next show is in two weeks at CSI Darmstadt, wish us luck!"
To find out more about Gut Ising visit http://en.gut-ising.de/sports-leisure/riding/equestrian-facility.html and for more on Leonora visit www.leonorasmee.com