A stunningly beautiful day at Barbury and a new layout which means that the CIC 2 star no longer does dressage down in Rabbit Valley but in the old novice showjumping site. To be fair to Barbury the main arena is the only flat spot but the dressage arenas present a unique challenge in that they are certainly on a slope!
Pats Jester ( PJ) found it a bit challenging after the surfaces he has recently gone on but, as always, he worked away and did his best and with just under 70% is right up there with the leaders. Up in the Air ( Harry) also knuckled down and stayed on side with Tim for 68% and a solid effort so Tim was pleased with his boys and he then disappeared with my car which in turn threw Jonelle as she thought I had gone home and abandoned Scooby somewhere! Scooby had decided to follow me at 8.15 am and was possibly slightly regretting that by the time we flogged back to the truck at some time after 12.30 having made several trips between the 2 and 3 star arenas.
Jonelle was fresh off a plane from NZ winter yesterday and discovered that the heatwave has done nothing to diminish the energy levels of her two mares. Hester got a bit tense and over reacted for a 35 whilst Grappa Nera ( Grape) rose to the occasion with some spitfire moments for a 45 which is not a score that Jonelle is familiar with! Both of these girls have huge potential and its all just a learning curve at this stage and I have no doubt that they will jump their socks off on Saturday.
The fabulous heatwave continues and whilst I am in heaven it did look pretty sweaty for those in top hat and tails today. The ground conditions in the main arena for the CIC 3 star dressage look as good as they can be and while every effort is being made there is only so much that the machines can do to offset the current conditions. It will be interesting to see how the ERM cross country pans out and I am sure Jonelle is very happy to be sitting on Kindred Spirit ( Joey) this time as you cant beat a NZ TB when the going gets tough!