Upton Thursday

Just Tim at Upton today with three young guns all at the beginning of their eventing careers and all with a bright future ahead of them.

I don’t think that there were many other Paris bound riders that elected to run their babies at Upton!  Tim has a unique mindset in that he never considers “what if”, he simply tries to make life as normal as possible in the build up to a Championship and if that means three green horses at Upton so be it!

Monbeg Crystal Clear (Kris) has had some runs this year with Cosby Green whilst he found his feet ( or not, as was the case at West Wilts when he fell over on the flat!) and Tim took over the reins today for the first time at a competition.  A smart test for a 29 and a double clear with 6.8 time is a nice way to start his partnership with the 5 year old kris  and he can now enjoy a little summer break.

Joining him will be Just Spotless who has had a whirlwind start to this eventing career in the last few weeks!  The judges certainly loved him today for a 23.8, he rolled a single pole in the showjumping and ran clear cross country for 3.6 time and 6th place.  In his three starts he has been 3rd, 7th and 6th with Tim so he certainly deserves a mini break!

Indy du Loir has been thwarted by Spotless in his last couple of starts to end up looking like the prawn on the homebound truck.  Sniffing the air today he decided that it was perhaps time to show his true colours and, in what we are definitely taking as a good omen, he did a 25 and a double clear in time to take the win in his 100 section.  Indy is nothing if not judicious in his timing!  Todays lead photo is courtesy of Rachel Good, who owns him in partnership with husband James Good, Terry Miller and Julia Lukas and he is looking like he just about owns the Upton House Estate as he grazes above the valley.  I have no doubt he will brag all the way home like an England football fan en route to Berlin from Dortmund and I guess he deserves it!

Quite bizarrely the only BE event in the whole country that is running this weekend is in Central Scotland! So that’s wrap on the one days now and the next time Tim and Jonelle head down the centre line it will be for the 2024 Paris Olympics.


Upton Wednesday

Slightly improving weather today with some clouds and brief spells of sunshine but still an annoying wind that makes it feel like spring or autumn, not summer.  Just the three rides each today as it was a heavily balloted day despite being mid week so no rider could ride more than three in total.

Jonelle got done by early afternoon with her three novices, J’Orange (Daisy), Faerie Good Golly ( Golly) and Illico de l’Esques (Nico). They have all had some moments in this, their second season, which had a delayed start and then has been a bit sporadic with various international events putting them behind schedule but the last few weeks have been more consistent and today was kind of important as it would mark the end of their spring season and a little break before they started again after the Olympics.

Jonelle was delighted to say that for the first time this year she felt she had got all three on the same page! Although she did qualify that by saying that Daisy was a little annoying on the flat ( nothing like a feisty chestnut mare!) for a 35 although that was a fairly high scoring section.  Daisy then jumped an immaculate double clear  to put herself right back into the good books and earn some down time.  Nico is genuinely stepping up too after his win last time and he seems to have dropped the “teenage kid’ attitude to be right on the game and up at at it early doors for a 32 and a really solid double clear.

Golly had a slightly inexplicable big E at her last run at Chepstow where she downed tools at a skinny in emphatic style.  Events have intervened since and Jonelle didn’t get to take her schooling until Monday where she fronted up with a skinny at fence 3 and Golly never hesitated.  Today she answered all the questions with her usual gusto with a 30.5 on the flat and an assured double clear for 6th spot.  Situation normal….who knows what  Golly saw at the Shields at Chepstow but it seems to be a distant memory!

As Jonelle headed back home to Otis and Abel Tim was just finishing his sole novice ride at Upton, Faerie Usain (Maude) as his other two got balloted out.  Maude has shown her opinions to be fairly strident this year but today she was also on side with a 31.8, an annoying rail on a track where she otherwise jumped a super round and a lovely confident clear cross country.  It seems an age since she dumped Tim head first in a ditch at West Wilts but she has really earnt her summer holiday now!

Afternoon intermediates for opposite ends of the spectrum for Tim with Sean Duffy’s Kinsale Oltaire ( Phoebe) having her first intermediate start with Tim and Coup de Coeur Dudevin ( Joker) having an HC run as his final start before travelling to Paris as Tim’s direct reserve.  Both Falco and Joker were due to run in the advanced class at Aston le Walls on Sunday which had a special class running the Olympic Test but when they withdrew the option of the Olympic test Tim was left with little choice but to re route to Upton, with thanks to Garcon’s ( Tibo’s ) owner Joe and Alex  Giannamore and Happy Boy’s owners Therese Miller and Susan Lamb for dropping their horses entries to make this happen.

Joker duly did a great test for a 28.2 and cruised a super easy double clear with the brakes firmly realigned after Luhmuhlen.  It was a great run and came in perfect time as should Joker’s services not be required in Paris it sets him up nicely for his Autumn campaign.

Phoebe was possibly a tad harshly marked for a 35 on the flat but made up for that with a confident double clear and another tick in the box in her career.  She is a lovely, kind and very careful and bold mare who had some superb results with Sean at 3 star last autumn and she is finding her form again after she was one of the very few horses over the years who didn’t find the Sunshine Tour to her liking!

Just three 100 horses stand between Tim’s last competitive outing and Paris Olympics. I can’t actually believe I am writing this as it seems to have been forever coming and also zoomed around.  Here’s hoping Indy du Loir ( Indy), Monbeg Crystal Clear ( Kris) and Spotless ( Spot) come up trumps tomorrow and give Tim an easy day!

 


Upton Tuesday

Yet another grey and overcast day with plenty of gathering storm clouds overhead as a backdrop to the Upton House Estate in Warwickshire.  Upton lands at that sweet spot in the calendar where all the spring three day horses are back up and running again so the OI sections are stuffed full of well known horses and riders and this time, a fair few Paris potentials as well as riders sought one last quiet run with their precious horses.

Upton have a reputation for a huge amount of work being done on the ground as its runs in mid July.  In contrast to other years the ground was near perfect without any need for watering thanks to our damp squib of a summer so far!   It has its own unique stamp on a one day with the three phases fairly spread out and a rolling cross country track that makes the most of the acreage.  The showjumping arena is pretty basic, especially when you are fresh in from Aachen and Luhmuhlen, but it does have a sort of agricultural charm about it and the addition of a small child on the gate wishing competitors “Good Luck!” as they entered was either a sweet move or judicious use of child labour.

Hacking from the lorry park across the valley to the dressage livened up the morning for some of the riders and I don’t doubt Tim had Chio 20 firmly on the bit.  He did a lovely test for 28.4 and then when he was allowed to have a look around in the showjumping he lost his concentration slightly for an unusual 2 rails.  He redeemed himself cross country with a smooth clear however and was happy to sift at the truck for the afternoon with Falco whilst Tim started all over again with Vitali and Dromgurrihy Gold (Dara).

Falco was having his last run and Tim described him as “very bright” in his test for a 30.7.  He says that Falco used to be  fresh and would still do a lovely test but nowadays when he is fresh he’s on the naughty side which is what you get when you are a 5 star winner!  Another notch in his belt with a superb clear in the showjumping and a quiet run cross country to check all systems are go after Luhmuhlen.

Dara must have recognised his owners who had flown over from Ireland and he tried his heart out all day for a 29.8 and a clear in the jump ring which isn’t his easiest phase.  It was a tricky enough track for Dara with the undulations and not allot of fillers to back him up but he managed his long legs in admirable form before loving his run cross country.

I think the kindest thing to say about Vitali is that “he has summered well” which is what the hunt staff used to say to the subscribers coming out on well rounded hunters for Autumn hunting.  Vitali’s default look at the horsebox is “cross” which he does very well but he is allowed to talk the talk when he produces a 27.3 test, a solid clear over the poles and a super smooth cross country round for his first run back since Badminton.

Jonelle had a day of two halves as well with Grappa Nera (Grape), Full Monty de Lacense (FM) and Chilli’s Midnight Star (Ollie) in the  morning and then Hiarado (Jools)  in the afternoon.  Grape had a run in Maarsbergen a few weeks ago to tick a Paris qualification box but Upton was her first one day since Badminton and she was very bouncy for a 35.5 on the flat and a polished fun run cross country after another lovely clear showjumping.  Fellow advanced mate Ollie loves his one days and he bagged yet another prize with a 27.7 and a double clear with 9.2 time for 4th spot in his star studded section.  FM is still in intermediate points but he made a great fist of his day out with the grown ups with a 31.6 and a double clear with just 5.6 time to also pick up 5th place and a few more points so another triumphant return from his Millstreet three day.

Time to  start over again in the afternoon and if anyone appreciates one on one with Jonelle it is Jools. An accomplished test for a 28, a never-in-doubt lovely display in the showjumping and an effortless cruise around the intermediate to complete her competition prep for Paris.  Plenty of relieved people back at the horsebox when Falco and Jools were safely back in their pyjamas!

Back to Upton on Wednesday for both of them and then just Tim on Thursday with the 100 crew.


Aachen Cross Country

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


Aachen Dressage and Show Jumping

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


Aachen Thursday

Some weak sunshine arrived in the afternoon which was most welcome and the team jogged up in the stables complex as always at Aachen.  No problems for our team of four and one individual and some fun photos with Libby Law afterwards before waiting for the Group 2 slot of arena familiarisation at 6.45 pm.   There are up to 4 nations in each group and they get to use the warm up arenas and the main arena for 45 minutes which is a nice length of time for the horses to get a feel for the arenas and hopefully to be more settled in the main arena for their test than if it was their first sight of it.

Team order is Ginny Thomasen and Capitaine de Hus Z (Alvin), Caroline Powell and CBI Aldo (Aldo), Jonelle and Senor Crocodillo (Diego) and Tim and Jarillo (Milo) last.  Lauren Innes and Global Vision M (Flipper) is our individual and as we drew 10th out of 11 teams we don’t at least have the earliest start tomorrow morning with Caroline on at 9.12.

NZL-Jonelle Price rides Senor Crocodillo during the Arena Inspection for the SAP Cup | Nations Cup Eventing CCIO4*-S. 2024 GER-CHIO Aachen Weltfest des Pferdesports. Soers, Aachen, Germany. Thursday 4 July 2024. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography

NZL-Tim Price presents Jarillo during the Horse Inspection for the SAP Cup | Nations Cup Eventing CCIO4*-S. 2024 GER-CHIO Aachen Weltfest des Pferdesports. Soers, Aachen, Germany. Thursday 4 July 2024. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography


Aachen arrival

It’s Aachen time!  And how we love Aachen, even if we arrived to the same dreary grey skies and rain that we had left behind in the UK which was a tad disappointing but even that can’t totally dampen that Aachen feeling of being at the greatest show on earth.

Hot on the news that both Tim and Jonelle have made the team of three for Paris, alongside Pratoni del Vivaro team mate Clarke Johnstone and travelling reserve Caroline Powell.  Jonelle brings Senor Crocodillo (Diego) to Aachen whilst Tim brings Jarillo (Milo), both two superb up and coming horses who are first timers here.

Indeed it was mentioned that Diego and Milo are so impressed by their new glitzy surroundings that they possibly think that they are at this “Olympics” that everyone keeps talking about!  This could have been reinforced by a camera crew from The One Show who filmed Kerryn and Rosie driving the horses onto the Eurotunnel as part of a feature on horses travelling to the Olympics to be shown later this month.

They just went for a hack around the training field in the late afternoon and  with Tim selecting his route carefully he managed to avoid any horse shy moments which was a big step forward for Milo.  Thursday afternoon sees the jog, Friday morning the dressage, Friday late afternoon the jumping and then cross country on Saturday morning before we all head home again.

It’s the last big one before Paris and it certainly has that feeling about it.

The New Zealand Horses arrive for the Eventing. 2024 GER-CHIO Aachen Weltfest des Pferdesports. Soers, Aachen, Germany. Wednesday 3 July 2024. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography


Chepstow at Howick

A beautiful day in Wales for the Chepstow team having moved the event to Howick from Chepstow Racecourse which is a few miles further over the border with England and is the old point to point course for the Curre Hunt.  It’s a lovely old fashioned sort of event with a backdrop of the Welsh hills and an open galloping track including two of the old chase fences which are always good to open horses up over!

Tim had a couple of 100’s that ran in the morning and with 11 horses from Chedington entered the start for the Maxi truck was an early one.  Just Spotless was having his second start in a week and the knowledge he gained from Launceston was already showing as he was far less wobbly!  A 29.3 test, a single pole in the showjumping and another clear in time cross country left him in 7th place and he was a happy chap sunbathing at the truck when he finished his day around lunchtime.  Indy du Loir was his 100 buddy and he stepped up for a 25.3 dressage, clearly determined to not be beaten by the young gun this time round.  That lead was fairly short lived as the showjumping track involved allot of changes of direction and since Indy hasnt yet mastered flying changes that involved a fair amount of trotting to swap leads.  A clear round but 9 time added and Spotless was ahead again.  Indy did jump a lovely clear round cross country adding 8.4 time but he now has to wait until Upton House to get a chance to beat his travel mate on the scoreboard.

The novices were out in the afternoon and a back log at the showjumping followed some smart dressage tests.  Tim won the best test prize with a 23 in the Open Novice on Sean Duffy’s Kinsale Oltaire (Phoebe), a very smart 23.5 on Gloire de Marchenval (Louis) before slipping down the order somewhat with a 33.5 on Faerie Usain (Maude).  Maude is a bit of a supermodel with her tall dapple grey body but she has all the demands of a supermodel as well and doesn’t always agree with Tim on the flat.

Jonelle was pleased with both Illico de l’Esques (Nico) and Faerie Good Golly who posted a 28 and a 28.3 whilst it appeared J’orange had got out of bed on the wrong side, or maybe just too early as Jonelle said she was in proper chestnut mare mood from the moment she hopped on for a 32.3.

All sorts of bribery including an ice cream run from Tim at the showjumping in order to move them up the start list with their respective three horses but not much was making an impression on the steward who was determined to stick to programme order.  There was also a narrow chicane entrance made up of electric fence stakes which looked particularly uninviting, especially when two horses tried to enter and exit at the same time.  Hanging out in the sunshine makes it all much more bearable though and they soon got underway. Tim and both Phoebe and Louis jumped super clear rounds whilst Maude just had a rail when the approach to the fence wasn’t in a perfectly straight line.

Daisy had clearly moved into a good mood phase and jumped a very classy clear, using all her power to her advantage.  Golly looked super and Nico looked much more assured with a class round as well.

More ice cream sent down to the cross country steward and they headed down to an Eric Winter track that bore all the hallmarks of his design with some open galloping fences interspersed with skinnies, narrow shields and turning and balancing questions making as much use of the terrain as possible.  Tim and Phoebe blitzed around to take the win in the Open novice, Louis was just one second over time to take 3rd in his section and Maude gave him a lovey ride for one second over as well and 7th  spot.

Daisy and Jonelle moved up to 12th with a clear in time and Nico was impressive to add nothing to his dressage for a win and a very happy Jonelle who said he was much more professional this time out as sometimes his laid back attitude gets the better of him.  Today he was really onside and enjoying his job.

Of all of Jonelle’s novices Golly is probably the most fun cross country as she absolutely loves to gallop and jump.  This she did beautifully up until fence 13 AB which consisted of two shields on a curving line.  Having never had a cross country fault or even considered a drive by for some inexplicable reason today it was Golly who found an open door and she ended up with three run outs, the big E and the walk of shame home.  Jonelle was baffled and said they will be heading to the cross country paddock at Chedington for a “conversation” about it!  It never ceases to amaze me how fast horses can learn a trick when it suits them.

It was a long but productive day and plenty of happy young horses travelling back down to Dorset.  Congratulations to Cosby Green who did a great job deputising for Tim on The Highlander (Ivar) with nothing to add to a 27 dressage for 5th spot.  Congratulations as well to the team at Howick for putting on such a lovely event.

Below: Credit Rachel Good.  Indy has a chat with one of Rachel’s dogs.


Launceton

A lunchtime start for the crew at Launceston as they had crammed all the classes into the Sunday and the 90’s ran in the morning, followed by the 100’s then the novice class last of the day.  It’s still a couple of hours from Chedington but nice not to be leaving at 4am for once!  Tim had a couple of 100’s, Indy du Loir who was having his third start at the level and shiny new toy Just Spotless having his first outing.

Indy was good on the flat for a 28.3 and just tipped a rail in the showjumping for 4 faults.  Launceston is a bit like Dauntsey in that the waters are proper creeks with flowing water and not the type of crossings event horses are generally familiar with so when Indy, who thinks he is really worldly and knows it all, saw the flowing water behind the log that preceeded it he discovered that he has much to learn and stopped dead in his tracks.  To his credit he popped the log at the second time of asking, braved the flowing water and found it not much different to normal still water.  It was really good for him that there were 2 more creek crossings and he tackled them with his usual “Got it!” attitude so a very educational outing for him.

Spotless had quite the induction into eventing with Tim.  He stayed within the dressage boards for a 31.5, “wobbled” his way around the showjumping and managed to leave all the poles in place and then, due to Tim riding forward to all the xc fences to keep the momentum up went clear and in time cross country to finish 3rd!  Tim reckons his brain will still be processing all the information gleaned from his day out for the next week and I’m sure Indy was livid with the new kid on the block all the way home.

Jonelle had her three novices from West Wilts out again and her best placing was 4th with Faerie Good Golly who is becoming a bit of a banker ( or would be if the prize money hadn’t  stopped at 3rd in the novice!) with a 28 dressage, clear jumping and clear cross country with 5.6 time.  Golly is all about the fun side of eventing and she processes new things so fast which makes her such a quick learner.  Illico de l’Esques (Nico) is a completely different type being more horizontal than laid back and his brain doesn’t compute things as fast as Golly but that is also an advantage in many ways as he doesn’t have any tricks up his sleeve.  He would have scored better than 30 on the flat if Jonelle hadn’t tested her new medium trot out for a break into canter, he is a good jumper for another solid clear and its doubtful he registered the flowing water on the course until he had finished and the other horses chatted about it by the truck.  He’s Mr Consistent and that is very helpful in an event horse!

J’Orange (Daisy) is much more of an over thinker and she’s a smart cookie too.  A lovely test for a 27.3 and a neat and careful clear jumping round saw her heading out cross country full of confidence after a school at home in the week and having put her blips at WWEC behind her.  Jonelle described the cross country as “quite serious”  with the creek crossings “adding a bit of spice to make it quite exhilarating!” and Daisy was coping really well up until the last water crossing which required a shoulder brush arrowhead located on the out bank to be jumped on the extreme right as a Christmas tree blocked the left hand route.  As luck would have it Daisy jumped left as she entered the water which made the right handed exit nigh on impossible so she ran into the Christmas tree.  Jonelle couldn’t find a way back to it for a second run out so she went back into the water and came at it again with a straight approach.  She described Daisy as being “super amazing” to jump it beautifully on the third attempt which is pretty impressive, especially for a horse that found an open door at WWEC so proves she really has put that behind her.

Tim’s novices are a really nice bunch and The Highlander (Ivar) was contesting his first novice since last autumn.  He showed he is back to his best with  a 24.5 dressage and a very confident double clear with some time for 7th place.  Gloire de Marchenval (Louis) was contesting his second novice and Tim described him as “very good, very happy with him” as he also posted a double clear and a 27 dressage.  No need to go fast on a lovely young horse learning his trade so his 20 time faults spoilt his so-far-three-from-three from becoming four-from-four but he is a very smart horse for the future.

Faerie Usain (Maude) dumped Tim in the ditch at WWEC and came home alone so the task this weekend was to complete.  A nice test for a 29.8, an annoying tip of the planks in the showjumping and a quiet determination from Tim as he headed out cross country.  He had schooled Maude over the ditches and trakehner at Chedington and was really pleased when Maude jumped the trakehner on course beautifully.  Maude made light of the creek crossings and Tim was really happy with her until close to home, a skinny on three strides after a roll top, and Maude decided to run out!  Fair play to Maude she popped it beautifully second time but she really is being a cheeky brat at the moment!

Tim had a massively busy afternoon with his 5 not starting until lunchtime and he was glad to get the last one done and head home.  It was another really educating outing for the Young Guns and nice to get them into more consistent starts after the mass abandonments of the spring.


Farley Hall

And on the day of summer solstice the sun actually shone at Farley today which was kind of weird to have the Longest Day of daylight hours when we haven’t actually had any summer.  It’s all downhill to the shortest day on December 21st now and this was the first day that jackets were declared not necessary for dressage and showjumping.  Global warming seems an ideology in eventing this year as opposed to a reality!

Just the one ride for Jonelle today with Senor Crocodillo (Diego) in the OI.  Farley made the most of it though with an 11.52 dressage, a 2.15 SJ and a 4.09 XC which is frankly ridiculous! Tim had 4 rides so he was pretty busy but when the sun shines everything is so much easier for riders and grooms alike.

Diego won the dressage in his section for a very smart 25 and backed that up with an assured double clear for 6th spot.  Jonelle could have won quite easily but one day wins are not the priority and she was delighted with his return to competition and his attitude which is such a “can do” one that makes him a potential 5 star contender.  Diego was definitely happy with his day and enjoyed soaking up some rays.

Chio 20 also impressed the judges with a 28.9 and he was super happy to be back out after Millstreet.  Tim certainly had his hands full at the showjumping warm up which was busy and mirrored the slope of the arena and whilst many of the riders admired Chio’s jump not that many wanted to swap places with Tim!  He jumped a super clear round and hacked back to the truck with no mishaps.

Dromgurrihy Gold (Dara) is a 4 star horse now and his 36 dressage was some 2 points above Tim’s prediction for him.  He could not have tried harder in the showjumping as the downhill verticals and a couple of short distances would not have worked in his favour but he left all the rails up which was impressive.  Garcon (Tibo) has been a victim of the weather this year and is short of starts with Tim but he impressed today with a 30.9 and a very smart clear round.  He is not Tim’s usual type, he is a more compact model with a pretty head and if you had to pick him at the truck you would guess he was Jonelle’s.

Jarillo (Milo) hated the showjumping warm up and found it incredibly stressful as he is truly horseshy and since they now had a backlog at the jumping as they had insisted on trying to stick to times order it was really busy.  It wasn’t helped by a sturdy lady who dismantled  the vertical I had just put up for Tim and turned it into a cross pole in front of me which was not only rude but pretty unnecessary as the vertical was about 1m high anyway.  Tim managed to get to another vertical and a couple of oxers before commenting that the safest place for him to be on Milo was actually in the arena.  Milo duly relaxed in the ring and jumped the 4th of Tim’s clear rounds.

All four of Tim’s rides found the intermediate track a breeze and they skipped around with 20 to 30 time faults apiece and had a good outing.  Sunday is back to babies day with some 11 youngsters at Launceton in Cornwall which has quickly become a favourite with Team Price as the team there are so welcoming and helpful.