Blair Castle International 27th August.

Tough conditions across the board at Blair Castle with every class being dominated by stamina.  The cross country was bold, technical and energy sapping from the off with dead ground to jump out of as well.

Kindred Spirit (Joey) hated the ground in his showjumping round and pretty much spat the dummy for a cricket score which meant he didn’t get to play on the fun bit as it was pointless.  It was a shame that Joey was not on form this weekend as it was the type of competition that suits him best of all!

I am not sure Cekatinka (Tinka) was a massive fan of the ground either but having ploughed through fence two she worked out how to jump in it and was simply brilliant and was not only one of very few to not incur time faults but also did it smoothly and effortlessly.

Cross country was causing plenty of issues and Tinka and Tim set out on a mission which they accomplished superbly. They pinged through the combinations, went boldly through the tough waters, nailed the tricky lines through angled brushes and arrowheads and flew up and down the hills in a rhythm that saw them post the third fastest time of the day. When you put that in the context of the fact that this is just Tinka’s third start at this level and the two horses that went faster, Virgil and Graf Liberty, (ridden by Shane Rose and Chris Burton, both 4 star winners themselves) are experienced 4 star horses with plenty of mileage under their belt, then you really see how cool Tinka is.

It was an effort which saw them climb up the leaderboard from 14th after dressage to 5th and it was classy too.  Tim rode brilliantly and it was yet another fabulous ERM class that ticked all the boxes for a global audience.

A long, long drive home then off to Wellington on Monday with 4 rides before heading up to Burghley on Tuesday…