Tim was chief driver and chief rider this morning as he arrived in the truck park bright and early with his 4 rides for the Sunday of Cirencester. It was cool (and some compared to yesterday!) and there were no T shirts and shorts in evidence and for once ( not usual in UK spring) we were glad of the persistent drizzle as we really need some rain for Badminton.
Three in quick succession for Tim: Gurterra Jimmy Clover (Jimmy) in the intermediate alongside Jarillo ( Milo) and Coup de Coeur Dudevin ( Joker) in the OI and then back to dressage with Falco who got in at the last possible moment off the waitlist. One of the best things about events run by Muskateer is that they dont ballot, they waitlist which means you at least have a chance of getting in last minute.
Milo blitzed his opposition in the dressage for a 23 and then jumped a superb clear in the showjumping to head out cross country in the lead. The drizzly rain had definitely helped take the sting out of the ground and Tim and Milo headed out for their last run before Houghton 3*L looking good. One of his owners is Rachel Good who was on hand to video the water complex and it was good to review! A fairly decent in and a right hand turn to an arrowhead on the rising ground out of the water with no alternative was quite grown up and at the very last second Milo spooked and ran off right. This is normally the doom bell for eventers trying to re approach such fence but Milo gamely attempted it on the second try with an awkward “I have no idea what I am supposed to do here” and took out the left hand white flag and landed on all fours. They quickly re grouped and finished well and as Tim said, a perfect thing to happen before Houghton. Tim’s view is that horses sometimes find skinnies out of water tricky to read on the rising ground which makes perfect sense and Milo will be jumping lots of them on the cross country field in all sorts of uphill situations before Houghton!
Meanwhile Jimmy was determined to steal Milo’s “potential superstar” crown. He doesn’t have as many tools in his box as he isn’t chestnut with 4 white socks, a blingy blaze and a pure dressage trot. But what he does have is an amazing attitude and that unique ability to recognise an opportunity when it arises. He scored a very competitive 27 on the flat, survived a tiny crisis of confidence in the show jump warm up to let Tim hold his hand in the ring for a lovely clear and then went out cross country on a mission! He added just one second over time to finish in the runner up slot and a truly well deserved upgrade to advanced in the process. Welcome to the big boys club Jimmy.
Joker lived up to his name in the dressage to score a 34 when he is perfectly capable of a 24. But it’s allowed at this time of year.. it was cool ( cold!) and drizzly and he is fresh and fit. His showjumping round was pure class and an assured clear and he cruised around the cross country for just 2.4 time and not a hint of the dramatics he decided to empty at this last Cirencester when a falling flag was apparently a complete disaster and a reason to down tools!
Then Tim had to start all over again with Falco who had patiently waited his turn then was quietly beside himself to find he was in the starring role as Tim’s sole ride for the afternoon. A smooth test for a 27, of course a superb clear showjumping and a lovely easy clear cross country for his final run before he heads out to Pratoni del Vivaro for the 4*S test event the week after Badminton.
A busy weekend for the amazing team…and now we head into three day territory for the next few weeks with a spattering of young horse one days. Welcome to the travelling circus as Tim loves to call it! And just Jonelle’s showjumping in Kentucky tonight between the turn of 5 star winners and yard lodestars Ringwood Sky Boy ( Ozzie) and Classic Moet ( Molly) next week.