With the going at Barbury officially termed ‘perfect’ it was great to see so many horses galloping up and down the hills in what must be one of the best backdrops to any venue. Ginny Loisel and Beanie Davidson were running the first hospitality of 2021 and with the combined KeyFlow Feeds and ESNZ gazebos up it actually felt amazingly normal as owners, riders, friends and sponsors all enjoyed meeting up and catching up. Funny how we just took it all for granted before.
Tim had a fairly easy day with just Chio 20 in the 3S and one round of showjumping to do on Vitali who was never going to run cross country in the 4S. Vitali warmed up well but two rails again was not quite what Tim was hoping for although it was a very different round to Keysoe. Tim felt he unbalanced Vitali slightly over one oxer and couldn’t find the right rhythm into the treble. Swings and roundabouts…next time is when it will really count.
His other mission was to qualify Chio for Le Lion d’Angers. Having gained his 2L all the way out in Strzegom in the spring he needed a 3S with clear jumping xc and no more than 4 faults in the showjumping. He used his life in the ring with 4 faults but was brilliant across country to add 14 time for 10th spot and a ticket to Le Lion.
Jonelle didn’t start her 3S horses until lunchtime and then a busy afternoon ensued. New ride Coup de Coeur Dudevin (Joker) continued to impress with a lovely round showjumping which incurred 1.6 time due to a slight communication error when Jonelle gave a half halt on the approach, Joker obligingly nearly ground to a halt before a quick recovery less than a stride away and a still beautiful jump! He blitzed around the cross country and is going to be an exciting addition to the team.
McClaren (Mac) finds 3S just so much fun. He jumped his usual awesome clear over the poles and then simply cruised around the track practically purring. He added 10 time to finish 6th in a massive class and throughly enjoyed himself.
Tomochichi is new to this level but he tried his socks off this weekend. He did roll couple of poles but threw some great shapes as well and he looked well within his comfort zone galloping up and down the rolling hills as his TB breeding would suggest. He and Jonelle had a momentary lapse of concentration to pick up a 20 but Chichi is going to zip up through the grades to advanced very quickly as he learns something new every time he steps out and keeps building on it.
So a very successful Barbury and it felt odd to be finishing up on Saturday as the organisers had kindly moved the 4S forward a day to allow combinations having to go into PEQ (Pre Export Quarantine) that evening to compete. So throughout the day the Price horses slowly filled up their 8 allocated spaces at Manton Grange with Vitali and Mac being the last to arrive. They are joined by Just Kidding (Ferg), Diachello (Danny) and Mr Sneezy (Sneeze) and they all looked happy and settled at close of play last night.