Sunny and bright at Bicton for Jonelle’s 2 Thursday dressage tests with Fernhill Kankan in the 3*L and L E B Lias Jewel in the 4*S.

Both Jewel and Kankan are looking for a qualification as Jewel needs another MER at 4*S to compete at Luhmuhlen 5 star and Kankan picked up a 20 at Le Lion d’Angers last autumn so needs to tick that box.

Jonelle was really happy with Kankan and said her only criticism would be that she was perhaps a bit behind her leg in the trot work. A score of 27.2 was good enough to leave her in second overnight with a whole heap of horses to come on Friday in a big section. Jonelle was actually rather hampered by the fact that at intermediate level in BE competitions you can ride in a double bridle but at FEI level you can’t compete in the dressage phase in a double until you get to 4* level, a fact she was unaware of until about 10 minutes before she got on! Having not ridden Kankan in a snaffle for about 6 months it was pretty genuine of the mare to be as polite as she was!

Jewel’s test was a bit different in that she made about 4 or 5 little mistakes but the good bits, as Jonelle described it, are now so good that the judges really do want to reward the quality of the work. Jonelle’s comment was “when I can nail a clear round on her she is really going to score” so she was quite happy with what she described as a ‘fair’ mark of 31.8.

Jonelle went off to walk the 3L track after the tests as Saturday sees her with Kankan’s cross country and Jewel’s showjumping. She was happy with her first walk, said the tracks looked good, and noted that the 4 star in particular looked big!

Nice to be local enough to drive home on Thursday evening for a day of riding the Millstreet horses on Friday. The weather looks set fair for the weekend and we have waited so long to see blue skies and green grass ( as opposed to grey skies, lashing rain and squelchy mud) that it seems better than ever to be heading into three day season.

The New Zealand Team Stables. 2023 IRL-Millstreet International Horse Trial. Millstreet Town, Co. Cork, Ireland. Wednesday 31 May 2023. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography