Keyflow Barbury International, Thursday, Nexgen class.

Keyflow Barbury International, Thursday, Nexgen class.

Its a bit of a departure for Team Price doing young horse classes but the Nexgen format with its mix of freestyle dressage, show jumps and some cross country fences is a bit more eventing than the Burghley Young Event Horse format with a dressage test, a round of show jumps and a jog with just the final 10 being brought back to gallop.

Tayla Mason rocked up with two lovely four year olds this morning.  No sign of any heatwave at 9am at Barbury as a cold wind whistled through the valley and rain clouds threatened but Ginny Rusher and Glynn Norcutt’s homebred Peaceful Aila looked very smart and popped around the track very bravely and with a lovely attitude.  Next up was Faerie Good Golly, owned by Tim and Jonelle and bred by Trisha Rickards, who looks uncannily like her mother, Classic Moet and sadly not much like her father, the rather beautiful Upsilon!  Like mother like daughter though…Golly was pretty keen to crack on with the jumping and revelled in the cross country bit.

Both of the 4 year olds were really grown up…its a big old main arena at Barbury to be in all alone and Tayla described the wagon cross country fence as “huge”!  Its amazing how big 90cms can look when you are sitting on a green 4 year old with not much adjustability but a ‘get to the other side’ attitude.

Tim arrived in the afternoon for the 5 year old class when the sun had come out although the wind was still pinging the flags around. The Highlander ( Ivar) has had a mixed start to his eventing which has also coincided with the international bit of the calendar so so far he didn’t get past the showjumping at Howick and then didn’t make it to WWEC as he head butted something sharp which meant no competition due to the drugs he imbibed to fix it.  Ivar must have decided that this eventing game is very odd as all of a sudden everything was compressed into one arena and about 3.47 minutes.  Still, he took to the speed dating version very happily being German bred and thus naturally averse to long muddy cross country tracks and thought this just the ticket.  He showed off his nice paces in the rather random freestyle Tim had put together which mainly consisted of circling the jumps he would next be asked to negotiate and then really did jump his socks off to be quite the dapple grey teachers pet to win the entire class.  Tough old teachers he had too….with Les Smith and Rodney Powell in the judges box (or, to be exact, stuck in the middle of the ring) it was never going to be an easy job to impress them.  Not least as Les had been there since 8 am and must have been dizzy from watching so many horses circle around him.

I think the defining moment was when Tim did his ‘gallop’ at the end of the jumping. Rarely have I seen a German 5 year old pick up such speed in an enclosed arena and I am sure Tim was wondering as he approached the short side at warp speed whether he had any studs in.  A nice little balance and then off they shot again.  Congratulations to owners Gillian Brooker, Ginny Rusher and Glynn Norcutt…. they sourced Ivar from the land of Bratwurst and a very fine job they did.

It also looked very smart with both Tayla and Tim riding in official Team New Zealand hat covers but in reality Tayla was riding in Jonelle’s hat fresh from Aachen as she forgot her own and Tim didn’t have time to change his from said Aachen which was the last outing.  Maybe its an omen…

And just to keep it in the family…Keyflow are the title sponsors of Barbury International this year so a very nice start for Cam Price and his team to the weekend!