We are now staying at a hotel and riding centre somewhere south of Beijing, and here are the horses (really ponies) we have been generously been provided with by the Shandan stud in Gansu - they travelled for 2 days on this truck to get here - this is how most horses travel in the East! The lorries don't have ramps - they are just backed up to a bank to load and unload as you see here.
This excting event coincided with a big endurance event at which about 80 horses from all over China participated. The race was run along a very sandy twisting dry river bed. Having spent the whole day being waylaid for media interviews, this was followed in the evening by a press conference for the Long Horse Ride (Sino- British Friendship Ride!) with a roomful of reporters and TV crews. Wutzala was also able to display the official certification we have now recieved from the Chinese Association for Friendship with Foreign Cities. Then a dinner and prizegiving at which I was roped in to present the prize for the champion horse!
And I almost forgot to mention our plush new trailer provided by the Chengzhan trailer company - it has two fold down beds in the stalls, a sink and cooker, an outside point to attach a shower, and an awning for us to drink our Pimms in the evenings - and I thought we would be roughing it!