Typically September misty mornings have been the order of the week so far at Blenheim but luckily it was clear blue skies at 8am this morning when Jonelle was first to go into the main arena on Fernhill Kankan. With some 94 horses to follow there were plenty of eyes upon them and Kankan put in a foot perfect display to make it all look rather easy. They did pick up 1.2 time, always a risk when you are one of the first few to go but many more found the time either not possible or it pushed them into having a rail as they were chasing the clock.
Tim came in a few later on Viscount Viktor and it was no mean feat for their ever developing partnership that they did make that time but just tapped out the back rail of an oxer. The fence faced into the hospitality area was probably the most influential fences of the day with lots of horses just gawping at the crowds in the VIP and not quite finishing their jump. It was an otherwise lovely display of jumping and impressive to see Viktor getting better and better at this phase.
Senor Crocodillo (Diego) and Jonelle were on some tighter lines now that they knew that the time was so tight and Diego even had time to throw in a buck on the way around! He’s a cheeky chappie but he is careful and it was a smooth and polished clear that saw them climb up to 14th.
Tim and Jarillo (Milo) simply looked at the “round of the day’ award and walked away with it. Milo was incredible…he shows off his scope and goes very high but he is so trained and the ride ability meant that although he looked to be by far the slowest of Tim’s rides it was one of the faster rounds of the day and moved them up to 3rd. He looked like a pure jumper that had snuck into the eventing and Tim couldn’t have ridden him any better. It really was quite something to see amidst flying poles, lots of time, an Italian rider on the floor and the overnight leader eliminated for having 5 rails.
Chile’s Midnight Star (Ollie) added a third clear round to Jonelle’s tally of the day and whilst it might not have been as smoothes Milo’s it was definitely careful and a great marker for the future and they moved up to 12th.
Chio 20 was close to the end of the class for Tim and it was a big deal for him to canter back into that main arena. It had lots of atmosphere today and was rammed by 10.30 and Chio’s main arena appearance at Mallow in Ireland a couple of months ago couldn’t have been more agricultural in comparison! He was super though, jumped some great fences and looked very much the good horse he is turning into and it was just the in of the treble, right alongside the grandstand, that fell for 4 faults but another time penalty free round for Tim and they just dropped a single place to 6th.
So with six rounds under their belt and just 1.2 in time and 2 rails they were done and dusted with riding by 10.40 and it was time to start course walking and keeping an eye on their students in the 4L. Cooler weather today with rain forecast for tomorrow and allot of happy ponies standing in the stables ready for cross country tomorrow morning.