Aachen CCIO 3 star

Aachen CCIO 3 star

Aachen never fails to deliver and this year was as spectacular as ever with super weather and the usual incredible atmosphere… and the added bonus that for the first time ever NZ won the teams competition which was just the icing on the cake!

Dressage began early on Friday morning and with Tim running No.3 in the team he had time to watch a few tests and give Cekatinka ( Tinka) a pre test ride.  Jonelle had flown out on Thursday night and we were all waiting for Tinks to go in and strut her stuff in the stadium that has seen so many pure dressage legends perform.

As always Tinka and Tim were amazing and they scored a 27.5 which was more than good enough for a minor celebration!  Aachen has a fabulous Riders club where they serve champagne, cocktails and any thing else you may desire all for free before 5.30pm.  Needless to say we mostly managed to make it there in time…

That evening we showjumped on the hallowed turf of the Aachen main arena which is always something special and they had built a track which was forward and technical and caused plenty of problems.  There were the usual thrills and spills and then Tim and Tinka went in a jumped a foot perfect round to move a few places further up the leaderboard and leave the team in Bronze position overnight.

Sunday dawned as another bright and sunny day and despite the lack of rain in Europe the organisers had done a spectacular job of watering the track so the going was absolutely perfect and for the first time in weeks the horses had green grass to run on.  The top 25 run in reverse order so Tim had a while to wait and he and Jonelle worked together on the ground to give the other team riders as much info as possible.  Blyth Tait jumped a solid clear and Sir Mark Todd did the same.  Tim and Tinka set out with team instructions to come home with between 10 and 15 time and that is exactly what they did.  It was a cool round and a great exhibition of cross country riding.  Clarke Johnstone and his lovely grey completed the team rounds with yet another clear for NZ which left them at the top of the podium and then we really did have time to celebrate!

The prize giving is in the main arena and it was quite special to see the team gallop round leading the other teams behind them.  All the horses finished well and happy and it really was a simply brilliant few days.

Most of the team re grouped at Dusseldorf airport and it was pretty funny to see Tim in all sorts of trouble at security when they discovered a hoof pick in his bag.  The mystery of this in itself was cleared up when Tim explained he had borrowed the bag from Lucy but by this time the security police had been called and they clearly viewed said hoof pick as some sort of medieval torture implement.  Tim made a valid effort to explain what he did for a living which left them looking even more sceptical and in true Kiwi form his mates abandoned him and went in search of dinner.

I am glad to say that both Tim and the hoof pick eventually made it to the table.