Kentucky Cross Country

Kentucky Cross Country

Sometimes the scoreboard doesn’t really reflect the reality of a ride.  On paper Jonelle and McClaren (Mac) slid down the order with a 20 and some 13 time but, despite the fact that the cameras barely showed Mac over a fence, Jonelle had a fabulous ride and was delighted with ‘the little fella’.

The imposing coffin early on had caused plenty of problems in the 4*S that ran first and when the 5*L switched to the other side it was influential from the start of the competition.  Mac is a careful jumper and Jonelle was aware that she would be happy when she was through this combination and on her way.

Jonelle got a great shot in and when Mac saw the gaping ditch he veered left on landing. Jonelle was quick to redirect hard right and he arrived at the edge of the ditch, paused for a nano second and then boldly threw in a mighty leap to clear it and pop out over the C which was no mean feat for 15.3hh and a standing start!

He was then magic for the rest of the track (no thank you to Horse and Country TV who never showed him again) and Jonelle said she felt him 100% committed to the lines and prepared “to dive through every set of flags” no matter what and they had a great spin.  She was properly delighted with him and although he was great in Pau, and did finish on the podium, this time seems to have really sealed their partnership.

Our ex team NZ Eventing Manager Graeme Thom was in attendance and he kindly stepped in and appealed to the ground jury to have the 20 at the ditch removed.  It was a valiant effort and one that really should have been rewarded but the powers that be were adamant that there was a “prolonged take off” and that should be penalised.  As Jonelle said, on any other day it would have been fine but not on this day!

Mac has no idea he wasn’t anything but brilliant and that’s the really important part.  Michi Jung sits some 9 points in the lead which is pretty unheard of these days at a 5 star and Jonelle and Mac can rest easy knowing they have done their best and enjoy the showjumping this afternoon.