18.7. That’s all I really need to say! As owner (with son Alex) Joe Giannamore said, “That’s history in the making we have just watched” as Tim smashed the records at Burghley for a stunner of a test that never looked in doubt from his first entry (which garnered a 10 from one judge) and as near perfection as you could possibly hope for.

The old adage, bad dress rehearsal great performance was true though, as Jonelle pointed out that the warm up had gone everything but to plan! Jonelle was in charge as ‘person at A’ and Vitali swapped behind in the extended, got his tongue over the bit, resented a heap of people putting the bit back in the right place and generally behaved like the true diva he is. Once he entered the arena though he looked at ‘his’ fans (Vitali is the type of horse that would most certainly assume they were his and not in the least bit Tim’s) and decided a little bit of sparkle was all he needed to be the hero of the day and he jammed his ears into a “beam me up Scotty” position and off he went.

Literally like he was on railway tracks. He allowed Tim to ride him, to help him maintain the rhythm and balance but the extensions were pure show off Vitali with never a hint of a break or a mistake. Flawless changes, perfect halts, super soft lateral work….they nailed it!

The crowd went wild when Tim came out and the funny quirky horse that Vitali is, loved it. If they had done that at the jog he probably would have fled back to the stables….or maybe it’s because all the stands are not filled at the jog!

It was a sunny warm afternoon, Vitali gleamed, Kerryn was so proud and the whole Kiwi crew watching were blown away. Records being smashed are just the ticket and to be nearly 6 marks clear of Ollie Townend and his two lovely grey horses is quite the achievement.

I think it’s actually a new 5 star record…I’m pretty sure Bettina Hoy and the wonderful Woodsides Asby scored a 19. something back at the Worlds in Jerez in 1994 but am happy to be proved wrong.

And as Tim went to the Press conference Jonelle was riding sidesaddle in the main arena as a ‘pupil’ of Katie Jerram-Hunnable. I’m sure nothing made her miss Classic Moet (Molly) more!