Cross country day in Kronenberg dawned like all the other cross country days so far this year; wet, windy, cold and stormy.  It is not often you see Tim in full cross country gear before 8am but the 4L was running as the first class of the day which was a good thing as there was standing water on the track in places and it was going to cut up fast for sure.

Tim had Coup de Coeur Dudevin (Joker) out first but Astier Nicholas was the pathfinder and Tim was quite happy to follow his hoof prints as with 2,3 and 4 star short and long tracks in a fairly tight area there were multiple options to go wrong.  When the tracks disappeared after Astier pulled up at fence 11 Tim said he really had to concentrate and double check his course and fence numbers.  “Today was not the day to miss a fence or go down the wrong track!” he said afterwards.  Joker was sublime, he looked pure class and he and Tim gave a masterclass of cross country riding even if they were splashing through puddles and running in the rain.  They finished full of running with 23.6 time so ticked all the boxes that they needed to.

Some 14 horses later when Tim set out on Falco the sat nav was fully up and running with the prints of the horses running the track like a motorway.  A storm that blew in whilst Tim was warming up was on its way out and Falco simply bounded around the track and looked every inch the World Championship medallist that he is.  Tim was able to knock some 5 time off his first ride and Falco crossed the line in great form.  Both horses made the big leap into the last water over a huge hanging log with a 90 degree turn to a skinny on the bank look like a schooling exercise whilst allot of the 4 star horses, in both the short and long, found the turn not possible and had to add a circle.

Tim was quick to thank the whole team behind Falco’s comeback from his colic operation in late October last year.  It is a testament to the whole crew, plus Sue Benson’s literally hours and hours of hand grazing during his recuperation, that he should be able to canter round a 4L in March.

And you can throw my predictions after dressage in the bin as Tim now lies 2nd on Falco and 6th on Joker!