Somebody described young horse days at WWEC as a ‘necessary evil’ when we were at NZ squad training yesterday and it’s not that far from the truth….the organising team are absolutely lovely and so helpful but they do build the most random cross country track. Fence 5 for the novice was a very grown up brush arrowhead just planted in the middle of nowhere, not related to anything else and unsurprising that a fair few first time novices were like…. err…really? And then once you have run off nigh impossible to get back… Although Jonelle did note that it was ( after the wettest July/August on record) the best ground ever.

Anyway. The day started with a 45 minute delay as the paramedic was held up dealing with a splatted cyclist or something en route. The novices were up first and The Highlander (Ivar) scored a nice 30.5, Priorspark Royal Riff-Raff (Raffi) a very good 27.5 and EG Tiger Chilli (Lily) a 32.8.

All three jumped lovely clear rounds and then hacked around the cross country with a few time faults and ticked another box off in their careers. It’s actually more of a tick than you think at WWEC as it’s an odd track that preps horses well for something like Pau 5 star much later on. It has that element of surprise whereby you jump a bold galloping question and then suddenly turn 90 degrees and face up to an angled shoulder brush or a skinny. Its all relative height wise but the question is the same!

Moving onto the babies and the 100 class and all was to play for in the battle between Faerie Usain (Maude) and Faerie Good Golly (Golly). Jonelle declared herself “robbed ” in the dressage with a 33 as she thinks it was by far the best test that Golly has ever done and must have been a typo for a 23. As she had three babies she sent Tim off to obtain the dressage test so she could add it up herself although one assumes Tim sloped off for a burger and claimed that the test sheets were not out yet as he was on a 30.7 on Maude. He counter claims that Jonelle shafted him on Maude as she didn’t explain the test correctly and therefore he made an error of course but she counter claims that he had 2 hours between end of novice and start of 100 and he could have actually got the test book out and looked himself. It’s an interesting debate and one is inclined to think Tim was a bit Joe Biden to be so led up that particular alleyway but hey ho. Jonelle is a bit more fire and thunder and takes her opportunities as they arise!

Illico de l’Esques (Nico) did a lovely test for a 30 and just added a rail before being very cool cross country. J’Orange (Daisy) was described as being ” a bit of a pain” in the test but then she is a chestnut mare and has a stereotype to live up to. And boy, does Daisy take that seriously! A double clear followed for Daisy and Golly, Maude has a clear round on her card for the showjumping and then put her last appearance at WWEC very much behind her when she and Tim went clear cross country and they crossed the finish line together. Amen to that!

To be fair to this crew they have had a month out since their last outing with a planned summer holiday built into their season. And now it’s Tim and Jonelle’s turn as they take Otis and Abel away for a few days before the autumn 5 star season hits base and there is not a weekend off until November. Don’t we just live the best life?!