Photo credit Jonelle Price.
Well what a day at the inaugural 5 star at Fairhill. The unusually hot weather was due to break today with a massive thunderstorm forecast for the afternoon so the start times were all moved forward some 45 minutes to try and avoid it being a 2 part competition. As it turned out in the end they got it smack on as the last couple of starters copped a few raindrops and the majority of spectators were seen to be packing up in haste as sorry skies advanced on the venue.
Tim and Xavier Faer (Hugo) were simply on fire for a superb clear inside the time. They looked like a partnership well established, a duo, a totally unique and amazing conversation that chatted throughout the track. They never missed a beat and finished pulling up on a day when just 12 made time. Go our dude Hugo ( well, Trisha Rickards and Nigella Hall to be fair), he really does love America and for a a boy born in a sailing venue we get your drift! They retain their 2nd spot less than a rail behind Ollie Townend.
Tim’s post XC interview contained the gem “Jonelle is pretty good” which was very tongue in cheek and very funny. Jonelle started out on fire and as she said, Molly usually drops the fight theme a couple of minutes into a 5 star but not this time. She said that Molly ” was a beast from start to finish” and it was all she could do to hang on for the ride. They came home clear under time having taken a long route and yet again they show what a phenomenal partnership they are. They have moved up to 7th and all is to play for.
You have to remember the pressure these guys are under. Its not just a 5 star its the fact that they have asked amazing owner/breeder Trisha Rickards to back them in a huge financial investment to send these horses across the pond. It’s not cheap and they need to repay that investment with a performance… and they did in spades.
It was not quite as tough a stamina test as was forecast but good ground changes everything. Congratulations to Ian Stark on his inaugural 5 star track. And we look forward to tomorrow.