A late (compared to normal) vets inspection at 10.30 which both Viscount Viktor and Hiarado (Jools) flew through. Then a long wait until the show jumping started at 3pm which is always a bit of a drag when you are some 18 hours away from home but it was still a warm day and Pau was buzzing with the Sunday afternoon atmosphere and the unique (and weird) local customs which involve grown men parading around on hobby horses. Like I said, weird.

Tim and Viktor just tapped out the two bogey uprights in an otherwise smooth and elegant round. Fence three was angled directly into the crowd so caught a fair few and the last fence was a gappy vertical after a triple bar which is a classic three day catch-you-out fence. Viktor has come such a long way this week and has bagged so much more than just experience. Pau is a real introduction to the business end of eventing with its noise and crowds and it is great to see Tim’s belief that Viktor was ready for this was correct. Sure, the scoreboard says he finished last but the point is, he finished, when lots of horses much more experienced than him never made it to the showjumping with just 34 jumping out of 55 dressage starters.

Jonelle and Jools came into the arena after some mixed rounds….some had 20 jumping, some went clear and Jools never looked like touching a rail from the go. They jumped a really classy round with not so much as a rattle and ended up just one of 11 double clear rounds to move up to 7th spot. Not bad for your 5 star debut! Jonelle was visibly delighted and it seems she has found a new 5 star supermare just when she needed it the most.

So that is a wrap on the event season for 2023. Cosby Green and Copper Beech (Sean) had a frustrating three rails but 16th spot and second best USA rider behind Boyd Martin in your first 5 star is no disgrace. Viktor, Jools, Mac, Happy and Sean are the last of the event horses at Chedington to start their winter holidays and they are just hours away from it now!

And some holiday time on the cards for humans too….the back up team behind Tim and Jonelle are simply amazing and they too will be hitting some downtime while most of the horses are out. November is the quiet month but before we know it the yard will be filling up and next year is Olympic year so a good time to take a breath before that Paris madness starts.

And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

NZL-Tim Price rides Viscount Viktor during the Showjumping. 2023 FRA-Les 5 Etoiles de Pau CCI5*. Pau, France. Sunday 29 October 2023. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography