Saumur is a typically French laid back event and the jog that was supposed to run for the 4L on Wednesday late afternoon was postponed until this morning at 11 am.  With some 45 horses in the 4L the dressage is run over Thursday and Friday afternoon and having all jogged up with gold stars it was Tim and Happy Boy and Jonelle and McClaren (Mac) that got to strut their stuff today.

I think it is fair to say that Happy is BACK!  He did a superb test today and leads at the end of day one on a 26.4, some three points clear of Ireland’s Aoifre Clarke on 29.4.  Hot on the heels of Aoifre is NZ’s James Avery on a flat 30 and Jonelle and Mac sit in 4th on 30.6.  Tim commented that he feels he has the Happy of old back and that he was 100% focussed on delivering a great test today with a serious  work ethic so that’s a nice way to end day one of competition

Whilst all the judges had Tim in the lead,  Mac had the judges in slight disagreement with 2nd, 3rd and 5th place.   Jonelle said that being pretty early to go meant that her final warm up was pretty compromised with her 10 minute arena being reduced to a 3 min warm up and then they sent her through to the main arena warm up but wouldn’t let her in so basically the last 15 mins were very much not as planned!  It’s also, somewhat unusually in Europe now, a grass main arena and the ground team had filled in mole holes with sand which ultra careful Mac was very wary of and he skipped them which meant he almost looked irregular in his medium trot for example.  Mac is careful, he is a dude and he is entitled to be a dude for sure, but he wasn’t best served by the warm up or the arena today.  I think its fair to say that Jonelle is a little peeved to day the least!

But three Kiwis in the top 4 of day one is something that we are happy to take and its a long old way to Sunday;s showjumping from here.

Senor Crocodillo (Diego) for Jonelle tomorrow and Jarillo (Milo) for Tim.  No livestream for the dressage but live scoring on

Hopefully cross country will be live-streamed on Saumur’s Facebook page on Saturday.

Below:  Milo begs for treats in ever ingenious ways whilst Happy does the “it is SO beneath me”  aristocratic stare.  Credit Kerryn Edmans.