It has been an epic few days of competition and we still have Upton on Tuesday to go!

Tweseldown is a sandy soil base and they certainly haven’t had the rain that we have had in Marlborough. Ironically, if BE hadn’t dropped Barbury from the calendar over a spat with it running unaffiliated, it would have been the best going in the last 10 years. We actually have puddles up here on the Downs! Tweseldown looks brown and bare but the sand takes the sting out of the ground and the tracks were well built and followed the best ground so as a summer venue it still works.

Novices up early this morning and Jonelle found herself trotting down the centre line just after 8am. EG Tiger Chilli (Lily) is settling into her partnership with Jonelle and a 30 dressage followed by a smart double clear was a great result. Tim had Priorspark Royal Riff-Raff (Rafi) who was on blinding form for a 32.5 and a double clear for 6th spot and The Highlander ( Ivar) on a 31.5 and what Tim described as “an unfortunate” rail in the showjumping to add 4 before he skipped around the cross country with ease.

The babies came out for the afternoon and Tim just had Faerie Usain ( Maude) whilst Jonelle had her trio from Launceton on their second start. Faerie Good Golly (Golly), Illico de l’Esques (Nico) and J’Orange (Daisy).

Maude has finally grown into her head and she is now a great looking 5 year old and all in proportion as well as having that USP of being dapple grey. But it’s a big body to fit into a 20 x 40 arena and as Tim exited he called out to the judge “I’ll finish backing her when I get home!”. A 39 might have been a bit harsh but she’s pretty green and has yet to find her balance on grass in a confined arena. But put Maude in the jump zone and she is a totally different horse to last winter. Tim and Maude jumped a superb clear in the showjumping and looked nothing but class. Maude has learnt to use her whole body and now looks the business. She took to Tweseldown’s cross county like the proverbial duck and purred around for a clear. Happy days. Thats Tim’s 3 bad luck done now….Maude at WWEC, Falco at Aachen and Viktor at Aston yesterday. Slightly more high profile than he would have liked but that’s Faustus for you.

Golly views dressage like her mother, Classic Moet, as a necessary evil to be got through as fast as possible. Her 31.3 isn’t so much 8 marks better than Maude just she is small and can fit more than 3 strides around the short side. As full sisters they are so unalike its almost weird!

Daisy is a sparky young mare with strong opinions and a hell of an athletic body. If she were a person she would be one of those annoyingly skinny girls who chomp chocolate and then pull on a skimpy outfit and pull moves on the dance floor that you cant believe. She is sassy, cheeky, talented and sharp. Tailor made for Jonelle then. Having scored a 30.5 on the flat she hung out in the showjumping warm up for about 5 minutes before she got bored and showed some enterprising moves on two hind feet with some spins and broncs included which was quite impressive to those of us with two feet planted firmly on Terra Nova. She then was really brave in the jumping until she faced up to the red double and baulked and span. Jonelle used all of her experience to coax a second approach with no whip, just hands and heels and an encouraging click and she popped though second time for 4 faults and 11 time. The forward momentum of cross county suits her much better and she enjoyed lovely spin for a clear round.

Golly and Jonelle arrived at the showjumping to find Maude there waiting and Golly let out a scream of recognition as she hustled up to her sister. It was pretty funny as they clearly left the truck at slightly different times and Golly was like “Oh Man! You’re here too! What are the chances?!!!”.” They are like public school girls let off the sane coach that meet up in the same coffeehouse 15 mins later . “Oh Yah! Amaaaaazinng!!”.

Apart from a disagreement on the stride pattern into the problematic red double Golly was lovely and came out with just the 4 faults to her name. Then it was Nico’s turn and he was just such a boy….so very different from the girls. No drama, no game playing, he warmed up in an almost empty arena, was left on his own in the collecting ring and then jumped just a lovely clear round. It also transpired he had scored a 28 on the flat. Rocking the dude act so far, not least in front of his new owners, smart lad that he is.

Golly went cross country looking SO much like baby Molly. She’s fast, zippy and susses out a problem in nano seconds. She got to the water, thought it looked like Loch Ness, summed it up in instant and leapt from the edge straight to the middle to minimise her time in it. Smart girl. Nico then went one better with a smooth round that belied his years for a clear and a win on , well not quite debut, but second debut! He’s looking at Wesko/The Highlander form here so it appears Jonelle has picked another good one!

So much fun with the babes. No pressure, no knock on effect of each event, just an open basket of maybes/could bes/might bes that amount to their education. And as a bonus both Price’s went home dry and not dripping tonight. Happy Days.