Tim and Jonelle both have horses in the Nations Cup 4*S but Jonelle also has Chilli’s Midnight Star (Ollie) in his first 4*L and Full Monty de Lacense (FM) in the 3*L so she had to jog both  on Wednesday afternoon.

Jonelle looked smart in red trousers and a black top and Abel changed into a red and white summer dress to accompany her to the jog, a habit that she picked up at Badminton.  It’s pretty cool here to say the least so Libby Law kindly donated Abel a very smart beige jumper which acted as a sort of cape and Abel was pretty happy with.  Both horses trotted up well and Abel and Jonellle departed back to the truck on their bikes which made a pretty cute sight.

Thursday dawned windy and downright cold which is no surprise in Ireland but even after our endless winter seemed a shock to the system!  Having donned layers normally associated with February it was Tim and Chio 20 who kicked off proceedings as No. 1 to go for NZ in the Nations Cup.  Chio can be sharp at the best of times but it could have been the perfect storm with Tim prepping for his first big test of the year, a busy collecting ring with Burghley Young Event Horses galloping on the other side of the hedge, a wicked wind and early enough in the day, let alone the week for a big test.  In the arena the flags were flapping, the fir trees had been laid in a row instead of falling down haphazardly every few minutes and Tim headed down the centre line on a very lit up Chio.

He was really good, his enthusiasm just costing some points with a cracking extended canter that sported a great change ( not required!) and the new FEI 4*S C test proving very challenging.  A score of 33.3 was the end result and Tim was happy with him.

Jonelle and McClaren (Mac)  are running No.4 for the team and Mac looked a picture as he entered the arena.  Mac is a pro and he wasn’t bothered by the felled trees, the wind, the flags and the huddles of eskimo clad people scattered around the banks and he executed the smartest medium trots I have ever seen him do.  It was a polished and accurate test and deserved good marks and both H and C had them on 68 and 69% but E was sitting on 62% which seemed a little harsh to say the least.  It was still the best of the Kiwis though to sit in 4th with Tim in 5th, Clarke Johnstone in 6th and Dan Jocelyn in 7th in a show of Kiwi unity.  The Kiwis sit in 2nd in the teams just 0.3 behind Australia.

Tim’s second ride, Dromgurrihy Gold (Dara) doesn’t go until tomorrow but Jonelle still had FM to start at 5.25 in the 3L.  The sun was trying to come out and the vicious wind had dropped to a bitter breeze but it was still a big arena which FM had to come into and he handled it with aplomb.  An early mistake when he broke to canter in the trot half pass was expensive but his general way of going was very grown up and the 3 star version of the C test was no more flowing than the 4 star so he did well. Midway through the class he sits 6th on 31.3, less than a show jump off the lead on 27.9.  All FM needs to do this weekend is tick that pesky qualification 3L box!

Hopefully the sun may shine tomorrow and we can finally. shed our winter clothes.  It’s soggy in places out on the XC so we need some sunshine and Ireland has had no better spring than we have so we are in truth lucky to be here.  Fingers crossed for more sunshine!

PS.  The purple and white ribbon lapel badge is being sported across events in the UK and Ireland in recognition of Georgie Campbell as a rep of her XC colours.  Such a beautiful and heartfelt gesture.

NZL-Jonelle Price presents Full Monty de Lacense during the 1st Horse Inspection for the CCI3*-L. 2024 IRL-Millstreet International Horse Trials. Wednesday 29 May. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography