So the idea of a fun filled afternoon with all the Price and Paro kids on Sunday followed by a good nights sleep before an 8am dressage near Liverpool on Monday morning went…..pearshaped. As most plans do when small children and horses are involved. A fair amount of time yesterday afternoon was taken up with Carlos and Tim having to tow Rafael Losano ( Brazil) and Amanda Brieditis (Sweden and ex Team Price staff member) and their broken down 2 horse truck to a safe haven and then the night spent with Abel in a cot in the bedroom and Otis sleeping in between Tim and Jonelle resulted in varying accounts of sleep targets met. Jonelle says nil, Tim says a tad. I don’t think the kids are heading off to any “stay cations” at one days anytime soon again.
On the horse front they were delighted to be met with a dressage judge who ended their tests with a huge thumbs up and a beaming smile. Jonelle thought she had nailed her test when she got such a reaction on Grovine de Reve (Rev) and mentioned it to Tim on his way in and he didn’t have time to say he thought so too when he got the same reaction after his test on Spartaco ( Sparty) but a 29 left him a bit disappointed! Then James Avery (who was in a borrowed rig) when returning Tim’s tie and gloves (as he had found himself minus most of his gear) reported that he had pretty much nailed his test as he got the thumbs up from the judge and it began to become clear that this is the way this judge ends the tests she watches and has nothing to do with the score she gives. Maybe she was just happy to see some new Southerners tackling some competitions up North…
It was a busy couple of days for sure and I am not going to bore you all with the scores as you can see that on https://www.eventingscores.co.uk/index.php but fill you in on a couple of the back stories.
So, lets start with Jonelle’s 5 rides….Curly Girl was much improved on the flat for a 25 but her one weakness has been her ability to cross canter in the showjumping. Shane Breen suggested at the last squad training that Jonelle simply ignore the issue and not ask for a change but that meant that today she cross cantered most of the track which resulted in 2 rails. Annoying. A lovely clear cross country followed. Grappa Nera ( Grape) is getting fitter and was pretty hot on the flat today for a 35.. she heads out to Le Pin au Haras later this month and the long format will certainly help her settle.. so similar to Faerie Dianimo.. you just have to ignore the one day flat scores. McClaren.. ( Mac)
darling of David and Karrie, and deservedly so, finally wowed the judge ( not she of the thumbs up deception) with a 21 and a smart double clear which left them inside the top 10 and could have won if inside the time but since firstly, Jonelle didn’t know her score and secondly, Team Price make a habit of using the one days as Training Days and not Rosette Days, it doesn’t fit in with The Plan. But a great effort!
Rev was much improved for a 29 from the thumbs up judge and Jonelle reckoned it was more like a 25. He then jumped his socks off and just had the last coming out of the treble for 4 faults which Jonelle described as “annoying” before a lovely clear XC adding just 4 time which showed his experience. Faerie Magnifico ( George) was Jonelle’s sole intermediate ride and having contested Le Lion d’Angers 6 year old Championship with Sammi Birch last autumn when Jonelle was pregnant with Abel and having had just 2 Open Novice starts found himself thrust in to the thick of it quite quickly with an intermediate run at a testing event. George is a funny one… he isn’t quite as mentally challenged as his half brother Xavier Faer ( Hugo) but he also certainly isn’t as sharp or as agile as his half sister Faerie Dianimo ( Maggie May). He is pretty flash on the flat ( Hugo isn’t and Maggie May rarely deigns to perform at one days) but they are both good jumpers and George is.. lazy. He had 4 rails today simply because he didn’t jump high enough! He has great technique, is becoming less spooky but he really needs to apply his amazing cross country ability where he dealt with a serious coffin, a trakhener to a corner, a couple of offset triple brushes downhill and such to his showjumping where a report of ” didn’t try hard enough” blots his copybook!
Tim’s Sparty day improved after the dressage with a nice double clear for 9th. Kincooley Cruising is a proper girl and after the rain came down on her dressage warm up she spat the dummy somewhat for a 30 and then also kicked out a rail for 4 faults which is most unusual. She did go clear XC in a much improved mood so her day ended well. Falco had a PB with a dressage score of 18 which meant Tim missed out on yet another win with his 5.2 time which left them in 3rd but hey ho, we know the Team Price aim is to win the big ones not the one days. I think the difference in prize money is about £20 so it really hardly matters anyway!
LVS Movistar ( Joey) is rapidly climbing the ranks to be a bit of a yard star. He backed up a great OI run last week with a double clear with another one today on a dressage of 26 which he only aded 5.2 time to for 7th in his OI. It is possible he may come on the market for the right owner to give him his Forever Home and he would make the most amazing Junior/YR schoolmaster if anyone has any connections for Team Price consideration.
Meanwhile let’s give out a huge shout out to Jess Wilson and Scooby, Yard Manager at Mere and official team mascot respectively as they have driven to Cholmondeley and back 2 days in a row. Thats some driving… and if last week Jess thought that 3am starts were the norm she has now switched to 1am! Both T and J were quick to credit their amazing staff over the last 4 days and especially today when they had 12 horses on site which were as always immaculately presented and ready for every phase.
It takes a village….