A murky and misty start to the day with the 4*L cross country having an 8am start and most of the course shrouded in cloud.  Jonelle and Chilli’s Morning Star (Ollie) were due out at 8.40am and it had lifted a tiny bit by then but not much!  It did seem very early for a strong 4 star track but Jonelle and Ollie appeared through the mist and tackled the first water with no problems.  This time last year Ollie was contesting the 3L so that shows how much progress he has made in a year and looked great out on course and was really genuine at the corners where Jonelle said he made a great decision having not quite read the question correctly on the way in to fiddle a stride and jump out cleanly.  Jonelle was delighted with him and said he really fought for her without reverting to being rude which is all you can ask for at their first 4 Long.  As expected the footing was taxing and Jonelle said that whilst they though it might be soft in parts it was in fact soft all around.

Sam Watson skittled around with just 9.6 time but he did admit he was mostly out of control on the rather aptly named Ballyneetly Rocket Man.  Cosby Green had jumped a lovely clear on Highly Suspicious (Puff) and added 20 time to lie second and Jonelle and Ollie picked up exactly the same number of time faults to lie third which was a great start to the day for the team.

Full Monty de Lacense ( FM) set out bravely and put his coffin nemesis coming home in 2022 behind him when he popped through it early on and then he scampered around the rest of the track making it all look easy.  He has had his issues over the last year but he can now move up the table above the salt and take his place with the big boys.

The 4S started jumping in the afternoon when the weather was by then sunny and warm and there were some cracking rounds in the main arena over a big track with a great atmosphere.  Tim and Chio 20 jumped some super fences and had a couple of green rails but for his first time in a big arena since Blenheim it was a good effort.  Jonelle and McClaren (Mac) cantered in and and took a look at the crowds and the fences and grew a hand as he jumped a superb clear round.  Tim and Dromgurrihy Gold (Dara) were tackling their first 4 short and it was a very big occasion for Dara indeed.  He dealt with it in his own determined  way and to his credit just had 2 rails.

It was a good end to the day and to sit in the sunshine with a happy team was the perfect scenario as we headed towards the end of the competition with just Sunday left to run.