The crew left Chedington on Thursday afternoon and made the long haul up to Thorseby in Nottinghamshire and former hang out of Robin Hood who famously robbed the rich to pay the poor.  Well, to be fair, Robin Hood hung out in the forest, not the mansion, along with Friar Tuck and the rest of his gang but in modern terms the vibe has been rather reversed.  Thorseby entries and stabling do not come cheap!

Fair play to the team at Thorseby though, led by the indefatigable Stuart Buntine who does not quit when the going gets tough.  As South of England abandoned with 10 days to go, Oxtails abandoned day 1 and most of the UK battered by the remnants of Storm Nelson hunkered down Thorseby remained positive and implemented back up plans to get everyone in.  It was quite staggering that they remained so positive and very welcome in a hugely disrupted spring schedule for the second year in a row.

Jonelle declared the truck park ” not too bad” at 8pm last night but added that they hadn’t ventured very far.  This morning saw sunshine for the first time in weeks and that meant tacky drying ground in the dressage warm up and sticky spots at X, the corners and the centre lines  in the arena but it wasn’t raining which was a huge bonus.

Grappa Nera (Grape) was in just after 9am in the star studded Grantham Cup 4S section and Jonelle was happy with her score of 37 which we think is a career best in March for Grape!  Senor Crocodillo (Diego) did some really smart work but he jogged in the walk and was naughty in the strike off which was expensive to drop him to a 32.1.  Chilli’s Morning Star (Ollie) was nearly very very good in his advanced test until he missed the last change and decided bolting was the better part of valour!  He sits on a 34.

Tim was early in with Happy Boy in the Grantham Cup and Happy was most obliging for a score of 27.8.  You would think that Happy would hate the footing and put his ears back and be surly but that’s Happy for you….always the surprise!  Some time later Tim and Vitali pranced around the arena for a 27.2  with a solid display of partnership and meanwhile, in the ” Up and Coming” other 4*S section, Jarillo (Milo) had posted a very smart 30.8 to lie in 4th at the end of the class.

It’s a bit academic really as Tim and Jonelle are rarely competitive at the early season 4 shorts as they use them as a foundation for the building blocks of 3 day event preparation, especially with Grape and Vitali heading for Badminton. But a shout out to Cosby Green who is also Badminton bound with the evergreen Copper Beach (Sean) who pipped Milo into 3rd place by the narrowest of margins!  Cosby describes Sean as ” maturing like a fine wine” and it sure seems like Sean has loved returning to his native Europe from the USA.

Early starts tomorrow for the showjumping, the Grantham Cup is on H & C TV for the SJ ( start UK 08.30)  and the XC:

And live scoring as always on: