Glorious blue skies at Bicton on a busy Saturday when it seemed most of the country decided to head south on the M5 for the bank holiday weekend and the start of half term week. One unfortunate family are going to be a bit short on accommodation as their caravan had left the tow car and was parked in the central reservation of the motorway which must have made for an exciting few minutes for the driver but the disconsolate looking family on the hard shoulder looked none the worse for the experience.

Jonelle and Fernhill Kankan were pretty close to setting off cross country when the first, and longest, of several holds paused play. The eventing community is a close one and when a horse suffers a fatal accident it is felt by everyone, not just the connections and our thought are with the young French rider who was airlifted to hospital. The whole scene was played out at fence 7 which is in the valley below the collecting ring so it was impossible not to witness and we soberly walked back to the stables to wait new times. Kankan is that most laid back of personalities and she took it all in her stride as she was untacked and it turned out L E B Lias Jewel would showjumping earlier in the 4*S instead.

Jonelle swiftly changed into showjumping gear and we made our way down to the packed and buzzy arena which had a big crowd and plenty of atmosphere. The track was big and technical with a tricky roll back early on and the time was as tight as it should be at 4*level. Jewel cantered in looking full of confidence and she jumped a super around for Jonelle, just somewhat inexplicably dragging her back feet through a vertical on the far side of the arena for 4 faults.

As the 3* drew to a close Jonelle and Kankan made their way back up to the start and were then held again before eventually setting off from the start box in the afternoon sunshine around 3.45. Kankan sped around the track and answered all of the questions with a class and bold attitude and only found the last hill a little taxing to pick up 3.2 time to slip one place down to 4th. It was a good effort after a long, hot and mixed up day and her attitude was simply amazing. Just tomorrows jog and the showjumping stand between her and a nice summer holiday.