Sunshine and Devon are a great combination and Bicton had done a great job of accepting as many entries as they possibly could. Miranda Collet was swapping horses into different classes right up to the day before the event which is pretty impressive!
Jonelle finally got a start on her three young mares who are all out of novice in points but have not run since last year. Hester was 4th in her Open Novice section finishing on her dressage score of 30 whilst Grappa Nera ( Grape) and Carrick Aldato Girl ( Cabbage) were pretty fresh and excited to be finally out and about scored a 35 and a 38 in their section. They too put in business like double clears and all three of them were pretty pleased with themselves.
Tim only had 2 rides so I presume he spent some time hanging with Otis whilst he watched Jonelle juggle her 5 and walk two tracks! Up in the Air ( Harry) has been with Tim for some 5 months now and they enjoyed building a partnership in Spain but its all about that eventing partnership now. It got off to a great start with a 29 and a swift double clear which Tim said he thoroughly enjoyed. Its been a while since Harry was out eventing and it is so cool when they enjoy their job so much.
Xavier Faer ( Hugo) was on a real mission to get to Bicton as a badly timed kick from a pony at Brockenhurst Park on his winter holiday put paid to any chance of going to Badminton to defend his podium placing of last year. Christiana gave Hugo the green light to start jumping barely a week ago so a crash course in showjumping and cross country schooling was on the cards. Being the public school boy type that he is Hugo actually responds to a spot of cramming and it worked perfectly well. He is not the brightest of sparks and being reminded of everything in one hit was a good move and he scored a 29 and a lovely double clear which Tim was relieved about! He did gawp at fence 1 in the showjumping but that is perfectly normal for Hugo who forgets the warm up by the time he enters the arena. He also executed a near perfect jump over the Liverpool which is even more impressive!
Jonelle moved onto her advanced horses and Ascona M ( Ava) had the luxury of a run at Belton under her belt. A smart 25 on the flat was followed by an unusual 2 dropped poles but as Jonelle said, she finished last season after Blenheim and she just feels a little ring rusty compared to the horses that jumped down in Spain. She was, as always, pretty cool cross country and gave Jonelle a great ride.
Faerie Dianimo ( Maggie May) loves the sunshine and was very happy to be out competing in it. Being solar powered suits her and whilst we know she doesn’t do tests at one days that are memorable for anything other than over exuberance she can occasionally surprise us. Jonelle said that in the medium trot all she could see was her front legs flicking up past her nose as Maggie did her best Blueberry impression and she popped in a few one time changes on the centre line for good measure. That dressage breeding shows! The judge smiled at Jonelle at the end of the test which is always a little unnerving as in most cases they tend to smile as they reward your riding with a 6.
Heading into the showjumping Jonelle only had one ear listening to the commentary and when it was announced that Maggie May had scored a 23 she said the shock of it possibly unbalanced her and Maggie May had the rail over the Liverpool down! A 23 at a one day with Maggie May is simply unheard of. We do like that judge! Her usual enthusiastic cross country round followed and everyone was happy.
Tim and Jonelle are so posh now they sent the truck home with the horses, Harriet and Otis and went to a hotel for the night. That does sound posh doesn’t it? In reality it was a “family” room they shared with Rebecca Howard so sounds pretty much like a Truste House Forte dump! The truck will return tomorrow with a stack of babies and then the ‘family” heads down to Cornwall for a quiet celebration of bestest mate Beaney Davidson’s milestone birthday. Me thinks a cup of tea and some scones and clotted cream and maybe a sip of cider may be on the cards!