Moving to Dorset was always going to mean a few more miles on the clock to go eventing but as Jonelle said, they set a whole new record on Thursday and Friday!

Thursday saw them drive to Heathrow and then fly to Aberdeen which is about as far north as you can get on the Scottish east coast and still understand most of what the natives say.  Bogenraith Equestrian had invited them to run a Masterclass which is a rare occurrence in itself and even more so in the competition season and a great evening was had by all who attended.

Another flight back to Heathrow on Friday morning and a drive to Norfolk for the Burnham Market horse trials which is also located on the east coast of England and since it has Baltic winds that arrive on the coast line unimpeded since they left Sweden generally has drying ground when the rest of the country is afloat.  The organisers had kindly allowed 4 late entries into Friday’s Intermediate class when South of England abandoned so it was just Dromgurrihy Gold (Dara) that could run competitively with Chio 20, McClaren (Mac) and Hiarado (Jools) all running HC.

Jools was very happy to be out at her first party since Pau and Jonelle described her test as “very bright” to score a 30.9.  Mac managed a couple of starts in early March and he was much more relaxed in the dressage and earned a 28.6.  Tim was really pleased with Dara’s test as he is much less experienced than Jonelle’s two rides and he dealt well with his first outing for a 31.8 and tried very hard to keep his composure.

Chio has no worries about looking composed or otherwise, he had his cheeky face on from the start of the day!  He kept it well hidden in the dressage though for a 28.9 which was impressive for his first outing and gave Tim a super ride in the showjumping apart from just tipping the in of the treble.  Dara tipped the out of the treble so Tim named that the treble of doom but, unsurprisingly, there were no doom laden fences for Jonelle’s two superb jumpers as Jools and Mac added nothing to their dressage scores.

Jonelle said that the track was testing enough with a tough coffin at fence 7 going away from home and the first water came up pretty quickly as well so plenty enough for a good run.  She also awarded Mac the “gold star” of the day for the way he blitzed through the coffin with heaps of confidence which was nice for his last run before Saumur as he really does dislike them!  Jools was predictably a bit of a handful cross country as she considers herself a five star horse for sure and tackles everything with boundless enthusiasm.

Tim’s genuine intermediate Dara was really good cross country despite landing on all fours in the first water and doing well to pick up and jump the double of houses on the way out to finish in the top 10.  Chio held his cheek in check until the big ditch and brush where he decided  to test the water with a last minute slam of the brakes.  Tim reminded him that that wasn’t particularly funny and all credit to Chio, he took it on the chin and jumped it beautifully the second time of asking.  Tim’s comment was “I was pretty happy with that as I was worried Chio might make a deal of it and it become a naughty habit as opposed to a cheeky moment” which is a fair call with the mercurial Chio!

As they headed home around 6.45 pm they both iterated how much the horses had all needed the runs and despite the logistics and the hassle it had been definitely worth it.  One thing is for sure in these wet springs, plans may change on a daily basis but you have to be quick enough to change course repeatedly and its thanks to organisers like Muskateer that make this possible.  A rare weekend at home before a big outing with 10 horses at Kelsall Hill next week and then hopefully the sun will shine at Saumur the week after that.