Cornbury 3*S and WWEC National classes.

Cornbury 3*S and WWEC National classes.

Photo Credit: generously given to us by William Carey.

Tim headed to Cornbury yesterday for the 3*S elite section with Jarillo (Milo) and Chio 20 for the dressage and had quite fresh and bouncy horses underneath him. A 32 from Chio and a 35 from Milo left them off challenging for the lead but this was a box ticking exercise to see if they were ready for the challenge of Le Lion d’Angers….plus Milo still had to qualify at this level.

Today was an autumn special in the UK, still pretty warm (I think today is the very last day of summer) but plenty of sharp showers and we have had allot of showers over the last couple of days. As Tim jumped his first showjumping round on Chio at Cornbury Jonelle had already done all three phases of Cooley Seeing Magic  (Guthrie) in the novice at WWEC (West Wilts Equestrian Centre)! Jonelle had a 7.30am dressage which is quite the early start!  Chio and Milo both jumped lovely clear rounds at Cornbury and Tim headed out across country over the beautifully presented track just before midday on Chio.

Chio is very talented, very bold and undoubtedly also very naughty. He ducked out of a skinny at the end of a combination at the very last second and dropped Tim onto the deck (having left the pilots seat twice at Wellington and once at Cornbury means TP is going to be doing allot of baking in the near future) which was pretty cheeky to say the least.  But bright young sparks are all about the “hold my beer and watch this” and Chio is just a jack the lad trying his luck.  It is all a learning curve and a big one at that.

Milo was more accommodating and popped around with a steady clear to finish his qualification for Le Lion. Whether Tim thinks he is mentally ready is another question…Milo has stepped up and stepped up all season, he has answered every fast track question and delivered the goods.  He really is a dude.

Meanwhile at WWEC Jonelle was not overly happy about the novice cross country track for her 5 year old!  WWEC is a great venue but they do get quite technical on the cross country and tend to throw in some very grown up questions out of no where!

Guthrie scored a 39 on the flat, jumped clear as his want in the showjumping and then added 40 jumping and  42 time to his cross country as Jonelle decided that when she couldn’t get to an awkwardly positioned fence she would simply do a circle.  So she did 2 circles ( that explains the 40) which added onto the time (which explains the 42).  Guthrie thinks he has finished the season brilliantly, he is well due a holiday and he has no idea he faulted today.

Meanwhile in the 100 Dromgurrihy Gold ( Dara) has hit a bit of a flat spot. He is so very tall, he is so very young, he has put on allot of condition since his last WWEC a month ago and we think he is more than ready for a holiday.  He is like a 2 year old child with trying out the tantrums.. he pulled up twice in his canter in the dressage ( hence his score of 42), had a moment on the approach to fence 1 in the SJ when he said “Really?” before jumping a lovely clear round and then was a bit arsey leaving the start box for the cross country with some propping and tail swishing before he got into the groove and came home in a super rhythm.He is so grown up in so many ways… he treats the ditches like ground lines and is bold and clever with his feet cross country.  Jonelle promised him he could start his holiday this very afternoon and I think the big, gangly but hugely exciting young horse is more than ready for some paddock time!

Meanwhile Project Faerie Deodoro ( Milo Jnr) had allot to prove today.  A month ago at WWEC he copped  5 rails and walked home XC.  At Someford he showjumped like skittles and never started XC and at Wellington he got around.  Not really echoing the talent of his mother, Faerie Dianimo to say the least.

Well, today, Milo Jnr stepped up to the plate.  Maybe not in the dressage ( never his mothers forté at a one day to be fair) with a 36 but he warmed up nicely in the compact showjumping all weather and then just tipped a single rail for 4 faults.  He did do quite a bit of trotting round the corners ( it wasn’t the most flowing of tracks and he is no way ready to jump out of counter canter yet!) so picked up 4 time but hey ho… its progress!

And then, in a testament to Jonelle’s bravery and commitment he went clear cross country!  It was a little bit sticky to begin with ( but not downright dangerous like last time!) but he got going and even jumped the  (relative to the 5 year old) massive arrowhead to the massive trakhenner and galloped home looking like an event horse! I think even Maggie May would have been a little bit proud of him today.

So Guthrie and Dara begin their Autumn holidays tonight….unbeknown to Milo Jnr he is having a weeks hacking and then following in his uncles footsteps and going Autumn hunting with the legend that is Beanie Sturgess in the heart of Beaufort country.  Xavier Faer ( Hugo) went to Beanie at the end of his 5 year old career and it was the absolute making of him.  And look what he has done.. from a spooky, gawky 5 year old to 3rd at Badminton, and 2nd and 3rd at Kentucky.  Milo looks like a rock star, he is so stunningly dapple grey total movie star but he needs to prove his worth.  Its going to be a bit of a shock at Dauntsey Boot Camp….no hot water, no boots, farm hacks hedge jumping and alarmingly early starts for Autumn Hunting.  Just what a young pretender needs.

To put into perspective how Team Price train their youngsters on the job: Jonelle’s combined 1 novice and 2 100 horses finishing score today was 250!  But its all about the curve which heads always towards the top events in the world and if you cant learn on the job then there is no point doing perfect circles at home.