Tuesday, 15 November 2011

All Change in Zaporizhia

Wednesday 12th October
We have been taking a few days off in Zaporizhia on the great river Dneiper - the Cossacks had a former headquarters on Khortitsia island in the middle of the river here. Rowena and I rested at a hotel in the centre of town, while the horses have been very well looked after at a private showjumping yard in Malakaterinka to the south. The hospitality has been second to none, and nothing has been too much trouble.
On Sunday night we were treated to a most convivial barbecue at the stables with Victor who owns the outfit, family and friends. erAccompanied by much laughter and toasting. Below left to right - Rowena, Victor's son Andrei, girlfriend Tia, Victor, Alexander who showjumps, the showjumping trainer also called Victor just to be confusing, Igor? the vet, and Dasha, Victor's daughter, who is a mean little rider.
They have been immensely generous, welding the broken lorry ramp and thoughly washing down the outside and the horses area, and providing us with hay and oats. Victor the trainer spent time with us identifying stables across Ukraine where we can stay - he intends to warn them that we are on the way. Many, many thanks for all your help!

It has also been a time for an all change in drivers, as on Saturday Rupert returned home to work in London (thank you for all your hard work Rupert!) and on Tuesday evening we were joined by Hua, my former riding partner in China.
The following afternoon we set off on the next leg to Krivvy Rig, minus the cat who appeared keen to join us.
Dasha, Alexander and trainer Victor rode with us across the fields for the first couple of kilometres - here we all are about to head off.....
Left to right, Rowena on Bolashak, me like a little pony club girl on little Zorbee, Dasha, Alexander and Victor on their imposing showjumpers - they mainly keep Irish sport horses and Westphalians.

Today we rode up the river to Zaporizhia, and had a very civilised break for cappuchino at this riverside cafe facing Khortitsia island - you can see the marquee has Khortitsia inscribed at the top.

Rowena and Bolashak crossing the first bridge over the Dneiper to Khortitsia island
Me with the two horses on Khortitsia island. There is a large museum on the island dedicated to its history and Cossack occupation - we made sure we visited it on one of our days off.

1 comment:

  1. I love that first shot. She looks so fuzzy in the first picture! She's got a beautiful head, even when she is making faces...I liked this post so much..Thanks for sharing it with us.
    Horse riding