Definitely cool at 8.52 this morning but the sun came out for Tim and Coup de Coeur Dudevin (Joker) and they did sparkle as they entered the main arena.   Tim rode beautifully and Joker responded in complete harmony as they executed a mistake free test and the relaxation in the walk was superb in particular.  The judge at E rewarded Tim with 74.5% which is for sure what it looked like but C gave just 69.1 which was slightly disappointing.  A score of 28.1 left them in third at the end of the morning session.

Joker didn’t know the marks though and he was properly pleased with his performance, as was Tim who said he felt that was his best test with Joker to date.  He compared Joker to his own personality in the morning where he said he started off as being a little bit slow and then zapped up his performance as the time came closer to his test!

The afternoon saw the 5L class start and Viscount Viktor was 5th in for his second 5 star test of his career. By now it was cool and breezy and most people were dressed for autumn as opposed to summer but Viktor looked magnificent as he entered the main arena through the archway.  He made a great entry and did his best trot work to date, trending in the lead to top three throughout and it was the slightly resistant rein back that signalled a change of attitude.  Tim got through a very relaxed walk and picked up the canter strike off before Viktor suddenly decided that his performance so far had been so impressive that he was done for the day.  He stuck his head in the air, stopped going forward and earned some scores of 2 before Tim tactfully got him back on side and they continued with the test.

The magic was gone though and the judges hammered him after that as he continued to make small mistakes in each movement.  Certainly not a criticism of the judging, just a reflexion of how quickly it can all go pear shaped!  Tim did a good job to complete the test with a somewhat subdued expression on his face and Viktor would certainly have learnt that no matter what, the show does go on!

A score of 38.4 is somewhat academic as in reality he is only some 8 points off the lead at this stage.  Viktor is a complicated character but Tim has ended with the upper hand today as Viktor decided to see what happened if he tested Tim in the ring and he discovered that it was just the same as at home, Tim simply sat quietly and asked again until Victor complied.  It’s a good lesson to learn whilst he is still just 10!

Just Falco for Tim tomorrow so a much easier day and Jonelle has been enjoying just having Hiarado (Jools) to play with for once.  We are all hoping for some sunshine and warmer weather but on the plus side the footing on the XC is great right now.