Cross country day at Aachen dawned looking more promising but it was windy and cloudy quite quickly and overcast for  most of the morning.  Eventing in Aachen is  like speed dating, before  we knew it it was start time at 9.55 and we were underway.

Jonelle went out in the last third of the class and whilst it wouldn’t have been the toughest track at Aachen we have ever seen there was still plenty to do and mistakes had been spread around the track.  Any 4 star short gets tricky when you add in speed and this week was no different.  Senor Crocodillo (Diego) is green for this level of competition but they set out at a good pace and attacked the first half of the course with gusto.  Diego flew off the house on the bank at 10 and then never looked for the skinny at the bottom of the slope and just bowled on down past it for a 20.  It’s the type of fence where the experienced horses look to see what’s on landing and the greener ones just go “yee haa” and enjoy the sensation.  To his credit he came home brilliantly and ticked all the boxes on the way.

Tim and Jarillo ( Milo) set out as one of the last 5 to go and plenty of pressure as usual.  Tim started off at a moving but not crazy pace, jumped the first few to get going and then put his foot down in the middle section and cracked on.  All went well until he started to tire a little at he last water and then at the last combination Milo went sky high over the corner, as a result from that found the distance to the box on two strides a little long, scrambled over it to his credit and then Tim pulled him off the last corner as it may not have ended well.  Tim hacked him home and also went long in the arena but Milo has banked a huge amount of experience and had a good finish.

Both Milo and Diego will be back to Aachen and they will be hugely more experienced next time with more advanced runs under their belt.  It is nigh on impossible to go and rack up a top 5 finish at Aachen without being on a seriously experienced horse but there is only one way to do that and that is to keep coming back!

Not the result we wanted but not a disaster by any means.  That’s the last big one before Paris and apart from some one days the next time out is the one that is really going to count.

NZL-Tim Price rides Jarillo during the Cross Country for the SAP Cup | Nations Cup Eventing CCIO4*-S. 2024 GER-CHIO Aachen Weltfest des Pferdesports. Soers, Aachen, Germany. Saturday 6 July 2024. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography