11 horses from Mere Farm at Aston today and after a bit of a murky start the sun came out in the afternoon which was very welcome. Normally (as in the olden days) the warm ups at Aston are fairly cramped but with the new social distancing everything was very spread out so the dressage warm up was actually very spacious. The downside of the new layout is that everything apart form the cross country start and finish was a long way from the trucks!
Tim kicked off his day with a cracking 22 dressage on Falco and after a confident double clear and adding just 6 time they finished 3rd in their OI section. Spartaco (Sparty) posted a 28 and had an unusual rail before sailing round the cross country with his usual laid back grace. LVS Moviestar ( Joey) had his first OI start with Tim and showed his experience with a 30 and another double clear as they continue to cement their partnership.
Last ride of the day for Tim was Kroon Freddie and he took the star prize for the day ending up in 2nd place in his novice by just 0.5. His 27.8 double clear is testament to what a lovely genuine horse he is as he waited quite a while to get his turn after his early morning start!
Jonelle was kept busy with her 5 OI and intermediate rides but at least she did all the dressage, all the SJ and then all the XC rounds. Quite a few riders who only had three had to run each horse through all three phases before starting on the next one and that meant allot of changing clothes! Curly Girl won the dressage prize with a 24.3 which is pretty cute before she was one of many to spook at the loudspeaker by fence five emitting static crackle to have a rail. The one weird thing of the day was that there was no commentary at the showjumping or the cross country which made it feel quite eerie. Cross country posed no problems for bold and brave Curly and she scampered around and finished the day looking a bit more relaxed than at Barbury. McClaren ( Mac) is pretty smart on the flat and did a very nice test in his OI so we were a bit mystified as to why he scored a 31 but since we are still trying to track down his score sheet it seems destined to remain a mystery! Jonelle and he thoroughly enjoyed a classy round showjumping and he went cross country for the second time in a week and they both loved every minute of it.
Grovine de Reve (Rev) posted a 32 in his section before he too pinged around the showjumping clear and then just added 2 time to his dressage score cross country. Jonelle was really happy with his first run back as last year after he had a mini break he came back half asleep for his first event! Having not competed since September last year it was a good effort to come out sharp and on the ball and shows how far their partnership has matured.
Killbunny Andy had his first intermediate run with Jonelle having had a pipe opener round the Open Novice last weekend at Barbury. He is a smart cookie and he and Jonelle are very new together and after a 34 dressage there were a couple of differences of opinions in the showjumping to result in a couple of rails down. He is by no means careless, he is a lovely scopey jumper and it was simply a case of working each other out in a short space of time! He tends to gather speed through the combinations which never bodes well for the last part but we have no doubt he will be “trained” to listen a bit more and curb his natural enthusiasm for the job! It’s a trait that makes him a really cool cross country horse and with plenty of TB blood he found the flat terrain at Aston barely enough to break into a sweat as he skipped around clear.
Grappa Nera (Grape) loves her days out and having finished her season at Millstreet in August last year was delighted to be back. Grape did get to hang out on the Sunshine Tour in the spring and after a very acceptable 33 in the dressage jumped a beautiful clear round over the coloured poles. She is a bit of a cross country specialist and bounded around the track looking like she was out for a school just adding 8 time for 12th spot.
Tayla Mason had her second double clear of the week on Gino Gingerino and they look really good together. Gino has been with Tim and Jonelle since he was a 4 year old and has had the benefit of both of them educating him along the way so he is pretty forward for a 7 year old with a fair few intermediates under his belt already. Tayla’s own NZ bred Westlink ( Jive) then went double clear around her first novice in the UK which is a cool way to begin and picked up her first eventing point.
Jonelle went off on her bike to locate the front shoe she had seen Rev fling off into the long grass whilst Jess and Debs started packing up to go home, no mean task with 11 horses and three trucks. The crew are back on Sunday and Jonelle comes back for a couple more on Monday so the Aston weekend is far from over.