Tim was flying solo at Farley on a hot and sunny Saturday morning with a bit of a strung out day with 1 novice and 3 intermediates. Megan was acting as the horses PA today ( and driver) and Aussie Bridget Garlick had her WWEC partner (Errol) out for his second start in the UK. Bridget did a sterling job of studding large novice horses who were not the most patient and it took me back to Tim sitting barefoot amidst horses studding up some 2o years ago! Back in the day it was his job and his alone…now he sits in his air con pop out with a flat white reading through his dressage test. Man, that is progress and success encapsulated!
Priorspark Royal Riff-Raff (Raffi) was first up and he did look more impressed with Farley Park than his initial assessment of West Wilts. He seems to have a penchant for the finer things in life and was pretty happy to be back on the Maxi as he actually deigned to remain tied up to it unlike his dislike of the Didi at West Wilts. Tim spent 30 minutes training him on the flat before trotting around the arena and after a couple of circuits when we we were wondering if the judge had decided to have 40 winks the bell was eventually rung. Raffi commenced his test and whilst I admit I haven’t watched a novice test in a while I was a bit confused when Tim seemed to start a 3 loop serpentine and then drop the reins. I wasn’t sure if it was supposed to be some sort of stretch exercise or Tim just couldn’t be bothered to hold Raffi’s head up anymore. Tim agreed afterwards that it is possibly the most ridiculous movement in a novice test…you spend 20 minutes putting them on the bit then drop them and try and turn and steer a 3 loop job in the middle of the test with their head stuck out like a camels and then pick them up again. Weird for sure.
Showjumping was tough enough again on the sloping undulating arena but Raffi made a fine job of his second novice track and came home clear. He did duck out at a corner…but Tim was actually impressed with how quick he was was to duck out! It was actually quite a grown up question for a second novice and he jumped it well on a more direct line second time so all part of the learning curve.
Three intermediates for Tim followed and it was running close to 29 degrees and despite binning jackets it was a hot and sweaty one for sure. Chio 20 is all English public schoolboy…all front and not as confident underneath. Dromgurrihy Gold (Dara)is pure Irish nice guy that finds himself out of his depth but deals with it and Volani (Arnie) wasn’t given the biggest set of brains but my God, he is embracing the Tim Price School of Eventing and improving every week.
Chio was a superstar and added just 2.8 time to his 26.8 dressage for 2nd and a heap of points. Arnie scored a 32 and got an educational round cross country after just tipping pole in the showjumping for another clear and Dara scored a 32, rolled a pole and then scorched around for just 3 time and 8th spot in his section.
Even Tim admitted it was a long hot day and he was glad to be at the business end of his 8 rides so far at Farley. Just a couple more tomorrow for Tim, a real yard outing for Jonelle as they make their Cornwall debut tomorrow with a truck full and summer is really in full swing.