Just Tim on a whistle stop early morning raid on Wellington on Sunday with The Highlander (Ivar) for the jump phases of his 2 star short. Ever the pro, at just 6 years old, and having been dragged out of bed at an unGodly hour, Ivar belied his youth to finish 6th with a double clear. It’s a somewhat sad situation though when he was 6th out of 99 starters and received the grand total of £25 prize money! With a £250 entry fee and two days of travel its really a pitiful reward but thats the sport and luckily no one is in it for the prize money!

And a mention for Sean Duffy and Kinsale Oltaire (Phoebe) who finished 11th in a massive 3*Short section of over 100 horses by adding nothing to his 33.4 dressage. He has some good horses ahead of him and some even better behind him but it really was a great effort and I would venture his best result this year. And he won £42 so he wont be covering any costs either!

Bank Holiday Monday and plenty of traffic on the road for the advanced horses today. It was a somewhat weird timetable with the advanced being run in the middle of the intermediate and OI classes so a day with lots of getting changed between running xc and going back to the dressage arenas. Tim and Falco were the only advanced combination and Falco was runner up in the dressage to Pippa Funnell, blew everyone away in the showjumping with his usual spectacular ‘above the wings’ performance and then gave Tim a terrific ride cross country for a clear. There were a few “Aachen like” combinations and Tim was really glad he had entered the advanced to address them before the big run at Fairhill 5 star in October. Falco was foot perfect and Tim said that they felt like a team again so happy days.

Chio 20 was in the OI and Tim was trying out a double bridle for the first time in a competition (this was not impressive with Jonelle who had been using said double bridle for a while on Clever Louis but the team gave it to Tim today so she had to swap to a different one!). A small crowd of Chio’s owners and a few other interested parties had gathered for Chio’s dressage and warm up as it is usually fairly entertaining as Chio quite often decides Tim can get off and gets into one of his rodeo scenarios which, to be fair, he is remarkably talented at. Sadly, for the audience today, but much to Tim’s relief, Chio was boringly good for a 26.4 on the flat. He did knock a rail in the tough showjumping ring but just added 6.4 time for 6th place and a nice way to head to Blenheim 4*Short.

Viscount Viktor has been battling to get off the waitlist for Wellington and he got his chance today when Jarillo (Milo) gave up his spot for him. Viktor is also Blenheim bound for the 4S and his sprightly dressage for a 32 was followed up by a very cool double clear in his OI and he is ready to aim for his first age class with all boxes ticked. It’s a tough track in the showjumping at Wellington with undulating ground, a vibrant main arena and it was an impressive clear from Viktor who has always found the cross country a breeze and the showjumping a bit more challenging.

Jonelle had a stack of clothing changes today and McClaren (Mac) was her first of the day with a 31 dressage ( the judges are mean to the little fella at one days at 8am when they seem to be saving their best marks for the eventing equivalent of Valegro to appear later on). A superb double clear followed for 6th spot with some 6 time cross country and Mac was happily dozing with his haynet by 10.30am. Clever Louis went just before Chio in the OI and the new bits Jonelle had ended up using in the the hastily put together double bridle made him a bit fussy in the contact for a 32. They headed up to the showjumping warm up which certainly hadn’t been watered as much as the ring and was pretty brown and jumped some good practice fences before entering the ring as the first to go after the advanced. The stewards asked Jonelle to leave the ring while they cleared out the course walkers and Louis gave a great demonstration of half arsed nappy baby rears in the gateway as he said he really wanted to showjump. Chio would have been appalled at the pathetic attempt to frighten his rider but Louis is a complicated stressy guy who needs to vent his feelings! Once allowed back in he jumped a lovely round apart from the one fence where he slightly ran through the distance to take out the front rail and then had a cool run cross country for a clear and another 6th spot. It’s a developing partnership that is heading in all the right ways. And to add to that he is simply the most beautiful horse so that always helps!

Chilli’s Midnight Star (Ollie) had to wait all day to do his test but he did a great job for a 30 flat. He then jumped a smart clear showjumping and zipped around the OI for a Blenheim practising fast speed 2.8 time ending up in 2nd place. He wasn’t by far the last horse of the day but note he was number 1, 503 which is some number of horses running at Wellington over the weekend! And we had more on the waitlist

Tim is off to Burghley tomorrow with Vitali and Jonelle has headed out to Gatwick tonight to fly to Ibiza for a couple of days with Leslie and the kids. If Abel makes it to the airport with shoes it will be impressive, Otis is in Ibiza mood with an ankle chain already in place and it remains to be seen whether Leslie will be tempted by a beach bum selling tickets to a club. We’ll keep you posted!