Well here we go with the first 5* XC of the year….. and it’s at the Kentucky Horse Park in Bluegrass country.
Steeped in eventing history and with a past testament of tough tracks this is a destination event for so many people which is why we saw a Connemara cross and a Welsh Cob cross come home. That is what you have to embrace about US eventing, it gives those riders the chance to come through and follow their dreams. They both completed while fellow 5 star riders didn’t so its a boost to the grass roots in the US that allow qualified combinations to follow their dream.
And they are, in reality, never going to trouble the dream team. As always with a top designer and a course building team headed by Mick Costello the track was there to be jumped so no surprise to see the top 3 as Ollie Townend ( Cooley Master Class) Boyd Martin (Tsetserleg) and our own TP and Xavier Faer (Hugo) 3rd
Tim and Hugo made time with an absolute class round that took your breath away. Tim is, without doubt, the top 5 star rider but Hugo, despite his 3rd at Badminton in 2017 , is a little bit off the pace in current experience. Tim held his hand today and Hugo responded with the class round of the day for a clear in time. He didn’t always make it easy for Tim, as Tim said afterwards, “he is not exactly clumsy but he isn’t always the best organised” which is a very nice way to put it. His bravery and scope were never in question though and he really does throw his heart over first.
Tim was also particularly pleased with his fitness saying “its such a big part of coming here” as its not ideal to travel a horse such a distance and lock them in quarantine for 48 hours the week before a 5 star. Credit to the whole team at Mere Farm and special note to Megan Taylor who has clearly done a fantastic job on her first solo 5 star trip.
What an amazing duo.. they really are the real deal. Sitting in 3rd and anything can happen….