All the young horses out for the Friday of Wellington and a first time at International level for The Highlander (Ivar) as he got to strut his stuff in a big arena in the massive 2*S section. He held his own as well with a score of 30.7, some 4 points off the lead and at the end of the first day of dressage sits in 9th place which is most impressive for a 6 year old. Somewhat confusingly for Ivar he doesn’t get to jump until Sunday so it seemed a long old day for just a test!

Tim also had Priorspark Royal Riff-Raff (Raffi)in the novice and Faerie Usain (Maude) in the 100 and three different tests in quick succession always spells trouble at a one day. To add to the complexities the tests are new for this year so take a while to embed into the brain. These are some of the things that Tim mentioned when queried about Raffi’s somewhat unusual 36.3 on the flat before admitting that he had actually made an error of course, picking up a penalty and after a bit more digging it transpired that he wasn’t entirely sure that the rest of the test had been as accurate as it possibly could have been. He then made the comment that he is actually really focused on Burghley and the upcoming 5 star test on Vitali which, in fairness, is a pitiable excuse when the field used for the dressage at Wellington also serves as the truck park so its about as far away from Burghley as you can get. Cant blame the man for trying though!

Raffi saved the day with a lovely confident double clear and a top 10 placing in his section. Maude had a bit of a hang around until her dressage start which she didn’t really appreciate and she tried some new moves since she had had plenty of time to think about them. Maude is the type of girl that feels if she has to get up at the crack of dawn then she should at least be first to go.

Tim had learnt this test but it looked as though he hadn’t when Maude left the arena at one point! She just decided it was far too hard to keep within the 20 by 40 ( she’s not a small pony by any means) so left it. Tim manoeuvred her back in with a touch of his spur which she found humiliating and demonstrated a flash of temper which her mother would have been most proud of. Maude scored a 37 which left the current World No.1 at the bottom of the section.

Maude wouldn’t be Classic Moet’s ( Molly’s) daughter without the ability to climb though and despite tipping a rail she hauled herself back up to (admittedly not the highest of bars) 23rd with a solid cross country round inside the time.

Jonelle had EG Tiger Chilli (Lily) in the novice in the morning and a score of 31.8 was followed by another confident double clear which this mare has consistently been delivering since Jonelle started riding her a couple of months ago. The showjumping at Wellington is usually pretty challenging with a proper main arena which, on an August bank holiday weekend, is thriving with families, dogs, all manner of trade stands and a fairly electric atmosphere. Friday would definitely be the quietest day which was nice for the youngsters.

Like Maude, Jonelle’s trio of 5 year olds have come back from a mini break and this was their second start this month. They were all fairly bouncy with Faerie Good Golly making a great fist of the dressage with a 26.8 and both J’Orange (Daisy) and Illico de l’Esques (Nico) scoring 33 in their sections which, to be fair to them both, were higher scoring than Golly’s section. Jonelle was happy with all of them on the flat and headed up to the showjumping to discover that it was actually, in her opinion, a bit small. The early part was definitely on the weeny side and Golly tipped a rail at fence 4 which was annoying to add 4 faults to her tally but both Nico and Daisy kept clean sheets before she headed down to the cross county on Golly.

Golly was Jonelle’s guinea pig for the cross country as she had walked the novice and the 100 at the same time so a couple fences were ‘mystery’ ones! Thats the nice thing about owning your own horse…you can do things like that! Golly came home clear under time and then Jonelle had two lovely rides on Daisy and Nico who both emulated Golly. The baby trio are starting to come of age and just as they think its looking pretty easy they will probably find themselves stepping up to a novice!