Last night, I flew to Jacksonville, Florida to coach Alyssa Rhee at the ASPCA Maclay Regional Championships. At the same time I was leaving for Dulles, the commercial shipper was picking up Alyssa’s horse, Futuro. The plan was for me to get to Jacksonville early so I could meet the shipper when they arrived at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. Alyssa and her mom are flying in tonight, since we are trying to keep missed school days to a minimum.

We had some terrible weather in Virginia, including tornado warnings, so my flight was delayed a few times. We finally departed at around 6:30pm. I was connecting in Atlanta, which meant I would miss that flight. Delta moved me to a later flight, which got me into Jacksonville close to 11pm. So by the time I retrieved my luggage, found my rental car and drove to the hotel, it was well after midnight. Into bed I jumped, making sure I had two alarms set for my early morning wake-up.

Futuro was supposed to arrive early- to mid-morning. I went to the show grounds early so I could find his stall and make sure he had all the bedding he needed. When I contacted the shipper to get a closer estimate of his arrival, the driver told me there had been a large delay and he wouldn’t be getting to Jacksonville until the early afternoon. I had planned to get Futuro’s stall set up (I didn’t have any of the equipment, since it was all packed in his trunk, on the tractor trailer) and then ride, bathe and hand-walk Futuro, so he could settle in comfortably his first day there. Instead, I found myself with a large chunk of time to kill, while I was waiting for my charge’s arrival.

For some reason, this show does not sell hay or grain. We sent Futuro with one bale of hay and a little bit of grain, but space was at a premium on the truck, so I knew we would have to purchase hay and grain once I got here. I found the local feed store, and purchased the hay and grain. The guys loading the hay questioned, “Are you sure you want that hay in the back of your mini-van?” My reply: “It’s a rental.” I had no other option. Maybe I’ll try to find a car-wash with a vacuum to clean up the back.

Once I delivered the hay and grain back at the showgrounds, I decided to go for a drive and see what Jacksonville had to offer, but I found myself driving toward St. Augustine. Check out my next entry for my adventure at the beach!

Maclay Regionals, Day 1

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