Lisa Marie Fergusson — The Road To Galway

Some of our guest blogs are good, some are great, and some make me completely jealous as a writer.  Lisa Marie Fergusson needs no introduction.  After a heartbreaking withdraw from Fair Hill just a day before the dressage, she and Smart Move have rerouted to Galway.  Here’s the story of their trip out west.  Lisa won’t win the Bit of Britain challenge this year, but we appreciate John Nunn’s support of Lisa and her guest blogs on EN. 

From Lisa:

This is how we roll “if you event, they represent”…word

Just trying to reach out to all of EN’s peeps while we drive coast to coast to Galway….how cool are we! The trip will be 2680 miles or if you are walking the distances that would be 4,716,800 strides or Smartie can put in 1,179,200….don’t know that Smartie can cover that distance though. The drive will take approximately 48 hours of driving and for those who have not made a 48 hour road trip before I can tell you from experience that it’s the first 47 hours that are the toughest but after that it’s usually clear sailing. Huge shout out of congrats to Jessica Phoenix for her Gold Medal performance and of course the US Team on 5 amazing double clear/double clear performances…did that actually happen…wow!

All roads lead to ….Galway

We will travel through 11 states, personally I will go through many more than that but I will try to stay in the happy state as much as possible. To give the European EN readers a perspective, our road trip would be the equivalent of starting your trip in Vale Sabroso, Portugal, home of the 2011 FEI Junior European Championships, driving through Spain and arriving in Pau France for the 4*, continuing to Milan Italy because I want to go there, then travel up through Germany to do the 4* in Luhmühlen. From there we head back to Boekelo in the Netherlands for the 3*, travel through Belgium, take the Le tunnel sous la Manche into the United Kingdom and on to London, just in time for the 2012 Olympics…with a couple hundred miles to spare…seriously the things we do in America to compete.

Lewis and Clarke

Lewis and Clarke had Sacagawea as map and guide when they made the first transcontinental expedition across America, unfortunately, she was not available for travel so choice number 2 is my boyfriend who is actually fairly good with a map, that is as long as he can find his keys…coincidentally, being stuck together in the cab of our truck for 48 hours straight increases the chances of me calling him a Saca…something, but again I will try and stay in that happy state for the entire trip…right that will happen….


If you have ever watched the Indy 500 you have watched some pretty impressive pit crews in action but they have absolutely nothing on Eventers. Typically for us it is Dressage at the pumps (not in pumps, sorry guys) and it often goes something like this. We roll up to the pump, doors cracked, credit card in hand, barely rolling to a full Halt and Salute. We leap out of the vehicle and start our test with medium trot to the pump and into a walk pirouette to untwist the fuel hose and then directly into a little piaffe, (not on the test I know but you drive 4 hours drinking pop on a full blatter!)…Mike starts back to the trailer in the extended trot to lower the windows for the horses and moves nicely into half pass (he hasn’t pee’d either) to the water pumps to get some water, the sound of the running water has him doing halt and rein back until the bucket is filled. Once the tank is filled and the horses have water we both do extended canter to the restrooms which is when our test becomes very fluid…after our break we do our extended walk around the store to load up on more health food (of course), pay and then canter back out to the trailer to close the windows, jump into the truck, Halt, Salute and roll on out of the Pit Stop. The judge says there is some good work but the test seems a little rushed. Over the years our “tests” have improved dramatically though. At first I struggled trying to get the extended trot, half pass or halt and rein back but after a lot of training Mike is actually starting to listen…there is still hope for him yet.

Are we there yet, are we there yet

We will exhaust every form of entertainment available and still have time on our hands. Every CD will be played, everything to talk about will be discussed, every friend to phone will be phoned and then we will be left with that comfortable quiet between two people who know each other well enough that they don’t have to talk. It’s often the time where you can just enjoy the quiet, relax, organize your thoughts and review goals….and why can we enjoy the quite?….because there will be no chinchillas (sorry John) or kids in the back screaming “are we there yet, are we there yet”. Oh and did I mention that road trip rules entitles each road tripper the opportunity to stuff as much junk as humanly possible, in your face for 2680 miles all in the reasoning of trying to stay awake. Well we are off to Galway and will touch base in the near future…till then GO EVENTING…WORD

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