Tim had time to watch some combinations go in the morning and he had a pretty good plan of action when he set off with Viscount Viktor in the sunshine.  Viktor simply cruised around and he is one of few 10 year olds to already have a 5 star under his belt and for his first advanced of the season it was pretty much foot perfect.  Helen West had given the riders striding options in places and with Luhmuhlen 5 star looming on the horizon Tim was keen to take the forward ones whilst cruising in between the fences.  They added some 20 time and finished looking fit and happy.

Tim then did a turn in the Clip My Horse commentary box and watched the heavens open as the rain hit Bicton good and proper.  He said that it had been a bit slippery in places in the morning but it was definitely getting soggy in parts as the showers continued to blow through.

He was heading out on Falco around the half way stage of the day and it was quite different to the  spring sunshine that Viktor enjoyed by mid afternoon.  Falco was keen to get going and he looked a picture heading out with his ears tightly pricked and an intense look of concentration on his face.

They came to the Oxer Corner combination which was mostly hidden from the cameras under the trees  and Tim came in slightly on the inside line and Falco threw an enormous jump over the oxer that landed them on the outside line. Tim said one particular expletive came to mind and as he struggled to get his head out of the lower branches of the trees he was desperately hoping for a distance to the corner to come up but he had ended up in no mans land, he couldn’t make it inside the little Christmas trees and he was stuck midway between the slow and the fast route.  Having no choice but to kick for the corner he said that Falco was incredibly brave and tried his heart out but skidded across the top and broke the pin which is something that Falco would not have considered a couple of years ago for sure!  They gathered their thoughts and Tim decided to run some more of the course for fitness and confidence which he did up until about fence 20 where he pulled up.  Tim’s comment was “Falco thinks he’s been very brave, has done nothing wrong and thinks he’s run the whole track”.  At the time it seemed a near disaster but around an hour later it seemed totally insignificant.

Eventing lost one of its very brightest sparks today when Georgie Campbell suffered a fatal fall in the first water.  Global Quest was led away unhurt and time seemed to be suspended whilst the paramedics did all they could but to no avail.  Our hearts go out to her family and especially her husband, our very own Jesse Campbell. They were a truly modern dynamic and they revelled in competing against and supporting each other, much like Tim and Jonelle. They truly deserved so much more time together.

Rest easy Georgie.  How we will miss your 1000 watt smile.  You became a part of our Team NZ UK group and we are all lost for words today.

NZL-Tim Price rides Falco IV during the Cross Country for the CCI4*-S. 2024 GBR-Bicton International Horse Trials. Exeter, Great Britain. Sunday 26 May. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography