No sunshine for the dressage on Friday morning with a cold breeze blowing and spots of rain every now and then. Jonelle and Senor Crocodillo (Diego) went in the third round of team riders and with Michi Jung and Chipmunk on a 22 and Julia Krajewski and Nickel on a 23 the Germans had a clear lead.

Diego did a really solid test for his first time in such a stadium and the judges were pretty unanimous in their marking which is always a good sign. He really only displayed his nerves and shortage of Aachen mileage when he came down the last centre line and whinnied as if to wonder if any of his mates were still in the warm up!  The quality of the work was great, he just needs to get more confident in his changes and then he is going to nail it.  He sits inside the top 20 at the end of the session with some super horses both in front and behind him.

Tim and Jarillo (Milo) gave a great account of themselves and Milo had all the judges impressed with his smooth changes, lovely paces and reach in his outline.  The rein back was perhaps the only weak movement but a score of 28.9 left them in 6th spot and just 0.9 off third place. That’s quite the debut at Aachen!

Time for another cross country course walk before the showjumping started at 5.45 pm and such a privilege to be part of the super smooth Aachen flow system. You start in the grass paddock, they let you know the order of move constantly, just 4 horses in the final warm up and they feed you info over the mic the whole time about order of go.  To those of us used to the carnage of amateur stewarding it is awesome!  Jonelle and Diego jumped a superb clear despite a spook at the third with Diego visibly growing in stature as he jumped around the iconic arena and if he went in a boy he came out a man.  It was class, from both of them.

Tim was managing Milo’s nerves re the other horses but he has one advantage in that the bigger the arena, the softer Milo feels.  The structured warm up helped Milo but as he cantered in and saw the vast space all to himself he took a breath, relaxed and jumped probably one of the best rounds of his career so far.  It really was exemplary.

The team had moved to 4th after Tim and Milo’s dressage and now they remain 4th with the smallest of margins between 2nd to 4th and the Brits in front but not by a mile.  We didn’t come here to win the teams but we would dearly like a crack at the podium!

It’s all to play for cross country tomorrow and not the first time that Tim and Jonelle at no.3 and no.4 will have the expectation to bring it home. Guess it’s all good practice for the rest of the month!

NZL-Jonelle Price rides Senor Crocodillo during the Dressage for the SAP Cup | Nations Cup Eventing CCIO4*-S. 2024 GER-CHIO Aachen Weltfest des Pferdesports. Soers, Aachen, Germany. Friday 5 July 2024. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography