“Baltic” was how Tim described his day eventing at Aldon on Saturday! He also added that it was the coldest days eventing that he has ever encountered and I can well believe it. Jonelle was pretty smug about her decision to skip Aldon this year and on top of everything else Tim was given an 8.40am dressage!
In fairness Tim did have three simply beautiful horses to ride. Falco and Riddle Master ( Rupert) in the Open Novice and Cekatinka (Tinka) in the Intermediate novice. Falco has had his share of wins across the board, Rupert is the ride of long time mate and ex Mere Farm work rider Rebecca Howard and has several 4 stars under his belt including the Rio Olympics and Tinka’s last outing was to win Boekelo three star. Rebecca had the bad luck to not only be teaching in Scotland but to also be hampered by a broken arm, hence Tim’s catch ride for the day.
Not exactly a tough day compared to some in the past at Aldon! One of my first encounters with the lovely but pretty crazy Sporting Hero (Prawn) was to find him and Tim entangled in the sheep netting as Prawn had fallen over backwards in the dressage warm up at Aldon!
Falco won the dressage in his section with Rupert also in the twenties and Tinka slotted into the lead in hers too. All three showjumped clear ( well, it would have been pretty embarrassing had they not) and all three skipped round the novice for fun although how much fun it was for Tim with sleet in his face is to be debated! Back in 2004 Tim made his first visit to Aldon with Desamoray and it snowed back then too. The commentator made some announcement about Tim being a “tough competitor from Down Under” as he set off cross country in a T shirt but in hindsight he had probably just forgotten to bring a jumper. It was certainly the first and last time we ever entered the AI as we discovered the cross country ran so late we got stuck on the A303 on the way home with all the London bound Sunday traffic! I am pretty sure that some fourteen years later Tim had several layers on when he went cross country yesterday.
To be fair to all connections Aldon is one of the coldest events of the year in a good March. Perched on top of a hill in a virtually treeless landscape makes for great cross country viewing but is not good for the extremities. Aldon this year when we are going through a Narnia like winter in temps of minus 6 degrees with an added windchill is seriously not fun!
And ever the team player, aware of the term “pot hunter” which could have been thrown at him, Tim kindly went slow enough in the Open Novice to let Aaron Millar take the win. Rupert finished a considerate 15th and Tinka a well thought out 6th place in the IN. Today was not about the ribbons! But a very nice start to the season for three very nice horses even if Tim is still thawing out as I write.