Cornwall

by kpmautner

Once I got over the spooks of living at the Jamaica Inn, I had the horses to take care of.  We were on the coast (the show grounds were on a long meadow.  At the edge of the meadow were the famous Cornwall cliffs and shoals.  There was nothing (literally) between the show grounds and the Labrador coast except for about 4000 miles of ocean.

This would have been spectacular scenery but for one thing.  The equinoctial gales were blowing in (from Labrador) and the show went on in pouring rain and hurricane-force winds.  In England, if the sun ever shines on a horse-show day, they cancel and postpone, since the horses have no idea what to do in sunshine.  So we went on.

It was a show sponsored by the Army.  Each jump had two soldiers stationed beside it.  Their assigned task was holding the rails up on the fence until the horse and rider approached, so that the jumps wouldn’t blow down and add faults to the horse’s rounds.  The guys who had the plank fences really had their work cut out for them to hold them against the wind.

We were soaking wet and freezing cold by the time the show was over.  The Army had two wonderful after-parties with towels and hot drinks and lots of food:  there was one party in the big house for the owners and riders (the nobs) and another in the enlisted-men’s quarters for us grooms.  Not quite in the same league, but warm and good food.