Howick runs just over the Severn Bridge in Wales so it’s a pretty easy trip down the M4 with 4 novices on board. Tim just has the one at present ( which I think he is enjoying allot… both the fact that it’s Emotion, whom he loves, and the fact he has allot of advanced horses!).

Emotion ( Emma) is Tatts bound and she seemed pretty ready as she posted a a 29 dressage and a double clear to pick up a BE point, her first novice rosette and 6th place overall in her section.  Mid week novice and 100 days are like a mini me Badmintons as all the pros rock up with truck loads of horses that they don’t get time to compete at weekends as the weekends are for Chatsworths and the like!

Having said that the sections were also hard fought as well!  Jonelle was having a bit of a tougher time than Tim as she had three and her judgement of their dressage tests was at odds with her judges! They judged Gino Gingerino the best with a 30, then Curly Girl with a 33 and lastly Faerie Magnifico ( George) on a 34.  Gino is a lovely horse but he is a full TB by Black Sam Bellamy and certainly doesn’t have the paces that George and Curly have but there you go.. it’s subjective!

Curly then posted a very smart double clear whilst George and Gino fell foul of the pretty tricky showjumping.  Deceptively simple looking from the ringside with the slight slope playing into the hands of the really well balanced horses, a downhill approach to the Liverpool and an uphill treble on a slightly long stride all adding to the difficulty. Gino just had two down before going very well cross country where there was plenty to do for a youngster but George pulled the “Brockenhurst Babe” card and spooked like he had never seen a fence before at 1, did the same at 2 and then had it down before deciding that the treble was full of monsters, jumped in, added a stride ( not possible) so took out the middle “at the waist’ as Jonelle described it and ploughed his way out.  No wonder he finds trebles scary when he jumps them like that! He seems to have allot of Xavier Faer’s brain ( Hugo) which is good for future top threes at Badminton and Burghley but it’s a pain at novice level when you spent three weeks jumping in Spain just a few months ago!

Luckily, before he hit the  transfer list, he manned up cross country and galloped around with ease so Jonelle still has no idea what the walk of shame off the track at Aston last weekend was about.  Probably neither does George as I guess he doesn’t remember it!