Without doubt Aston is a staple of British eventing and Nigel Taylor and his team do a sterling job but with the best will in the world it always feels like a downgrade to go from Badminton to Aston in just a few days. The mud had barely been washed off the Maxi before it was time to leave Chedington at what can only be described as the middle of the night. Or, actually, more like borderline yesterday.
No Stately Home, no buggies, no magical arch to ride through. But, on the plus side, no security, anyone could walk around the collecting ring with abandon and no rah rah picnics around 250k tailgate parties just for the grass roots. I think the image of a gathering around an Aston Martin DBX complete with a coloured cob at Badminton on the Thursday will haunt me forever.
Anyway, moving on, Tim had a relatively easy day with just three whilst Jonelle had the full compliment of 5. Dressage at 8 am was a bit rude but hey ho. Jonelle nailed it with 5 double clears which is pretty impressive even if she was on the A team but I did question how she could possibly have come second on Jutopia ( Lola) on a 17.1 dressage but all was revealed when the judge must have been a Brit and awarded Piggy French a 14.8 dressage score.
Senor Crocodillo (Diego) obliged for 10th, L E B Lias Jewel ( LJ) was 7th, McClaren was 6th and Hiarado (Jools) was 11th. Four out of five listed sub 30 dressage which left Jools the only one in the 30’s but to be fair to Jools we all forgot she spent her formative years at Aston and was pretty buzzy all day having thought she was on the transfer list and was returning to base. Not a chance of that as she is one of Jonelle’s firm favourites and she fair bounced up the ramp for the homeward journey! Jonelle averaged 10 ish time penalties on all of hers and was pretty happy with her day.
Tim had established show offs Jarillo (Milo) and Happy Boy in the OI and they both did their strutty stuff for 25.7 in different sections. They both went double clear although Tim was still in 5 star mode and opted for an average of 20 time on his XC rounds. I mean, when you finish top 7 at Badminton with a hack around what is the rush?
Viscount Viktor is a different character and like many of the Price superstars over the years not a particular fan of one days. He is an out and out international specialist and his scores today of a 32 dressage, a couple of poles and a solid clear cross country prove that point! Great to see he put his blip at Cirencester xc behind him and he is one of many heading towards Millstreet at the end of the month.
Day two tomorrow…..