Another early start for the last of the marathon one days of 2021. We just have a few one days left and no more ‘big weekends’ with 3 or 4 days of back to back competition as the autumn three days loom large on the horizon.
Jonelle’s really early start was hampered by the fact that Coup de Coeur Dudevin (Joker) decided to do a spot of self harming en route to the event which meant that on arrival he needed a cut to his face stitched up and was off games due to the local anaesthetic which was administered. Joker was blissfully unaware of the stitching and enjoyed his cruisey day very much!
With just Killbunny Andy then to ride Jonelle blitzed out a 31 test and a very confident double clear adding just 6.4 time to her score and a really good run for Andy to back up his advanced at Wellington. Andy was particularly bold into the second water and ticked all the boxes as he ate up Cornbury’s undulations.
Tim had a busier morning as he had 5 to ride and he and Curly Girl are definitely bonding with a 29 in the intermediate dressage. Curly put Wellington firmly behind her in the showjumping with just 4 faults and then skipped around the cross country for just 4 time. Happy Boy posted an assured 30 test, jumped an impeccable round showjumping and then had a great spin cross country which included nailing the ‘coffin of doom’ with exquisite precision and ride ability which bodes very well for Lignieres!
Gutera Jimmy Clover (Jimmy) is allot newer to this level and he stepped up valiantly to a tough day with a 35 on the flat, a single pole and a really brave cross country for just 4 .4 time. He came home with a smile on his face and impressed Tim with his attitude all day. Cornbury is a very grown up event for a horse that has recently upgraded and Jimmy ticked all the boxes.
Spartacus ( Sparty) and Xavier Faer ( Hugo) are much more experienced and they bought their A game to Cornbury. Sparty did a lovely test for a 26 and he added just 2 time to finish up in 2nd spot with two classic jumping phases where he looked the real deal. Which is good as he is heading for Pau 5 star! Hugo is heading for Fairhill 5 star and he too was on blistering form with a 26 test and just 3.6 time for 5th in his hot section. Tim was full of praise for him and said he went quick cross country but picked the best ground everywhere which accounted for the few time faults. Hugo was done by lunchtime and he spent the afternoon in a ‘Hugo daze’ by his haynet where he occasionally fell asleep but mostly just day dreamed. I swear that horse could catnap anywhere.
Meanwhile Jonelle had Classic Moet ( Molly) and Faerie Magnifico ( George) to occupy her afternoon. Molly was in 7th heaven to be at an event and George was in damage limitation mode as Cornbury was where he developed his second personality as Geoffrey last year. Molly was, shall we say, enthusiastic in her test and a 32 reflected that quite fairly. The girls were drawing straws as to who would ride George the marathon hack up to the dressage and he arrived looking very hot to trot! He then had a tilt at being badly behaved on the ground before Jonelle got legged on safely and she had to work his pretty hard in order to keep him in order. Well gone are the days of an 8 minute warm up! He did a nice test for a 30 but since Jonelle was riding on eggshells she couldn’t get the best out of him. Me thinks George will be well prepped for his test in Lignieres!
The upside is that Geoffrey show jumps much better than George and apart from the one fence he smacked out he jumped a super round. He was also great cross country apart from the heart stopping moment when he had a hesitation then a low jump over the massive ditch brush drop. It wasnt heart stopping for us but it must have been a moment for Jonelle! He then competently ate up the track and came home looking pretty smug.
Molly jumped her socks off in the showjumping for a super round which just saw the middle of the treble survive a rattle. She was practically purring in the cross country warm up and was beside herself to be running again. She took off up the hills and looked pretty strong coming home and defied her 18 years in both looks and attitude.
There is no doubt that both Molly and Hugo are on peak form to head back to America. They have both matured like a fine wine and with Hugo being 2nd and 3rd at Kentucky as well as 3rd at Badminton and Molly winning Badminton and being 3rd at Burghley this really is their time to shine.
Lets hope. We all need a bit of sparkle in 2021 and I think these two unlikely super heroes (hero and heroine )could just bring it on.