After a truly dismal August with grey skies and cool temperatures the first Sunday in September brought glorious sunshine to the south and Devon basked in it. All of the horses from yesterday presented and looked great and they all passed the jog. Ringwood Sky Boy (Ozzie) was polished to perfection by Jess Wilson and he belied his 18 years as he sprang up the jog strip under the trees.
Fast forward to lunchtime and Bicton’s picturesque main arena (which is either in a natural or man made amphitheatre!) was the perfect showcase to the end of the first 5*L in the UK in 2 years. Tim’s team mate, (and ex working pupil) James Avery claimed his first MER at 5 star at just his second attempt with Mr Sneezy and told the TV cameras that “it was proper 5 star, from start to finish”. Eventually there would just be the 5 clears from the 34 remaining and the only combination to finish on their dressage score, Gemma Tattersall, would deservedly win.
But back to our funny skinny long backed legend Ozzie. He did a lovely test, he was simply magnificent yesterday and he was one of many to have a couple of rails today. Funnily enough he was actually buzzy in the ring and less rideable through the contact than he normally is with Tim on day three. He is an equine version of Benjamin Button it would seem. He still rose from 11th to 9th and yet another top 10 finish for our 5 star hero. Tim was grinning with admiration for him in his post round TV interview and it is a credit to the entire Mere Farm team that Ozzie went, and looked, so well.
And the cutest thing? Tomorrow Ozzie gets to go hang with his bestie, Wesko (Dash) on holiday, once more reunited with his fellow ‘travel the world’ companion. Dash may have started life in Holland and been quickly fast tracked onto the elite showjumping pathway on arrival in the UK before being spotted by Tim but Ozzie had to chance his arm at Goresbridge sales. In some form of divine intervention Mel and Steve Jones took a punt on the cheap leggy gelding before discovering that they had bought a lunatic. And the rest, as they say, is history. That Ozzie found Tim is something of a miracle as he rocked up at the right time and the right place to sneak into Mere Farm by the back door….. and never, ever leave.
And another prize…Jess gets her just rewards!