Burghley Dressage, Thursday.

Burghley Dressage, Thursday.

Another glorious day at Burghley today and the crowds flocked in to enjoy their first chance of shopping in the trade stands for three years and even the dressage stands, usually fairly sparse on a Thursday morning, were full of enthusiasts excited to see some three day action again.

As pathfinder Tim had the relative luxury of a near lie in with a 9.45am start time. Just 26 started today so there was no need for any pre dawn arisings and Bango (Uno) was a happy bunny to be out and about before it got hot.  They did a super test to kick things off for a 29.8 and eventual 6th place at the end of the day with just a couple of costly errors.  Uno thought maintaining a halt before the inevitable reverse gear was selected was a waste of time at A and you can see his point to be fair.  He did some lovely work as well as a couple of mistakes and exited the arena delighted to know that he wont be seeing a dressage saddle this side of Christmas again.

Classic Moet (Molly) was on after the lunch break at 2.10 and she gleamed in the sunshine as she worked in the collecting ring.  Its funny to think that little ol’ Moll has this following and there were quite a few in the crowds that gather outside the ring that recognised her and took photos of her which she didn’t really care about as the high life, including fame and fortune, has never really appealed to her.  She’s more a cider and chips sort of girl.

Molly and Jonelle cantered down the centre line and in spite of the fact Molly would rather crack on than halt she did halt very nicely and took the opportunity to yet again flash her teeth at the judges.  I am fairly sure I saw Andrew Bennie at C actually recoil at the sight of them but as his score flashed up as 8 he may just have been returning the gesture.  There were some lovely movements with the half passes being a particular highlight and some fumbling through the eventual square halt at A dropped them down a little after the walk.  The canter work was smooth….Jonelle is a master at hiding the fact that Molly takes quite the contact these days and you really couldn’t have complained about a thing until Molly tried bolting down the final centre line and then halted like a true munter with her not-so-pretty head stuck up in the air.  Nice one Molly! The minus thirty score trickled away but at 19 you have to hand it to the gal…she’s sassy!  32.2 was a bit off what Jonelle was hoping for but she gave Molly a fantastic ride.  Molly smirked all the way back to the stables as having the last laugh just gets more and more precious when your competition days are limited.

Tim is first up again tomorrow with Vitali and then goes second to last with Polystar (Nero).  Rain is rumoured to be on the horizon for Saturday so here is hoping for one last day of summer tomorrow.

NZL-Tim Price rides Bango during the first day of dressage for the CCI5*. 2022 GBR-Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. Thursday 1 September 2022. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography