A lunchtime start for the crew at Launceston as they had crammed all the classes into the Sunday and the 90’s ran in the morning, followed by the 100’s then the novice class last of the day.  It’s still a couple of hours from Chedington but nice not to be leaving at 4am for once!  Tim had a couple of 100’s, Indy du Loir who was having his third start at the level and shiny new toy Just Spotless having his first outing.

Indy was good on the flat for a 28.3 and just tipped a rail in the showjumping for 4 faults.  Launceston is a bit like Dauntsey in that the waters are proper creeks with flowing water and not the type of crossings event horses are generally familiar with so when Indy, who thinks he is really worldly and knows it all, saw the flowing water behind the log that preceeded it he discovered that he has much to learn and stopped dead in his tracks.  To his credit he popped the log at the second time of asking, braved the flowing water and found it not much different to normal still water.  It was really good for him that there were 2 more creek crossings and he tackled them with his usual “Got it!” attitude so a very educational outing for him.

Spotless had quite the induction into eventing with Tim.  He stayed within the dressage boards for a 31.5, “wobbled” his way around the showjumping and managed to leave all the poles in place and then, due to Tim riding forward to all the xc fences to keep the momentum up went clear and in time cross country to finish 3rd!  Tim reckons his brain will still be processing all the information gleaned from his day out for the next week and I’m sure Indy was livid with the new kid on the block all the way home.

Jonelle had her three novices from West Wilts out again and her best placing was 4th with Faerie Good Golly who is becoming a bit of a banker ( or would be if the prize money hadn’t  stopped at 3rd in the novice!) with a 28 dressage, clear jumping and clear cross country with 5.6 time.  Golly is all about the fun side of eventing and she processes new things so fast which makes her such a quick learner.  Illico de l’Esques (Nico) is a completely different type being more horizontal than laid back and his brain doesn’t compute things as fast as Golly but that is also an advantage in many ways as he doesn’t have any tricks up his sleeve.  He would have scored better than 30 on the flat if Jonelle hadn’t tested her new medium trot out for a break into canter, he is a good jumper for another solid clear and its doubtful he registered the flowing water on the course until he had finished and the other horses chatted about it by the truck.  He’s Mr Consistent and that is very helpful in an event horse!

J’Orange (Daisy) is much more of an over thinker and she’s a smart cookie too.  A lovely test for a 27.3 and a neat and careful clear jumping round saw her heading out cross country full of confidence after a school at home in the week and having put her blips at WWEC behind her.  Jonelle described the cross country as “quite serious”  with the creek crossings “adding a bit of spice to make it quite exhilarating!” and Daisy was coping really well up until the last water crossing which required a shoulder brush arrowhead located on the out bank to be jumped on the extreme right as a Christmas tree blocked the left hand route.  As luck would have it Daisy jumped left as she entered the water which made the right handed exit nigh on impossible so she ran into the Christmas tree.  Jonelle couldn’t find a way back to it for a second run out so she went back into the water and came at it again with a straight approach.  She described Daisy as being “super amazing” to jump it beautifully on the third attempt which is pretty impressive, especially for a horse that found an open door at WWEC so proves she really has put that behind her.

Tim’s novices are a really nice bunch and The Highlander (Ivar) was contesting his first novice since last autumn.  He showed he is back to his best with  a 24.5 dressage and a very confident double clear with some time for 7th place.  Gloire de Marchenval (Louis) was contesting his second novice and Tim described him as “very good, very happy with him” as he also posted a double clear and a 27 dressage.  No need to go fast on a lovely young horse learning his trade so his 20 time faults spoilt his so-far-three-from-three from becoming four-from-four but he is a very smart horse for the future.

Faerie Usain (Maude) dumped Tim in the ditch at WWEC and came home alone so the task this weekend was to complete.  A nice test for a 29.8, an annoying tip of the planks in the showjumping and a quiet determination from Tim as he headed out cross country.  He had schooled Maude over the ditches and trakehner at Chedington and was really pleased when Maude jumped the trakehner on course beautifully.  Maude made light of the creek crossings and Tim was really happy with her until close to home, a skinny on three strides after a roll top, and Maude decided to run out!  Fair play to Maude she popped it beautifully second time but she really is being a cheeky brat at the moment!

Tim had a massively busy afternoon with his 5 not starting until lunchtime and he was glad to get the last one done and head home.  It was another really educating outing for the Young Guns and nice to get them into more consistent starts after the mass abandonments of the spring.