Lignieres 30th September.

Falco at Tattersalls this Spring, credit Tess Anderson

The sun still appears to be shining in Lignieres although news is sparse as always!  Hester appeared back on the schedules for day 2 of the CIC 1 star dressage and she did a lovely test to score 40.3 and lie in 7th place which is pretty smart.

Saturday morning saw the CIC 1 star showjumping and Hester obviously remembered her Sunshine Tour training way back in February and jumped a lovely round for 4 faults which has left her in 7th spot.  I don’t have any images but the showjumping at foreign events on a surface is usually quite a big deal, a definite step up from the CIC showjumping we have at UK events when it is just incorporated into a one day event.  Mr Cin Cin also went down to Spain at the start of the year but his memory must be a bit shorter as I understand that the first two fences went rather well and then Tim thought he had a good distance down to three, Cin Cin was not quite as convinced and put down which resulted in a crash through the fence and TP sitting on his arse in the arena! Tim commented that it was a big track and whereas he was expecting Cin Cin to say ” this is where I need to get my jumping boots on” he seemed to say “” Oh Wow!  This is big.. shall I go or shall I dither”…. and we all know that dithering is fatal. It is not the most humbling experience but it comes pretty close when all your mates are watching, there is a decent crowd and the owners have forked out a fair amount of money for their horse to do a test and jump 2.5 fences!  I cant remember the last time Tim found himself in this position in the showjumping which shows how rarely it happens to him but the long and short of it is he is down a horse in France! His comment was actually quite heartbreaking ” It was pretty funny for everyone else..”

Saturday afternoon was Falco’s CCI 2 star cross country and Tim’s chance to regain his mojo. Falco is quite the flashy dude and Tim likened him to Wesko ( Dash) today which is a huge compliment although today’s reference was actually to one of Dash’s weak points…. Falco chucked it in which Dash memorably last did at Barbury CCI 3 star when he also was in the lead.  I would like to qualify this statement by adding that after the Barbury incident Dash went on to place 1st, 2nd and 3rd at 4 stars as well as win CIC 3 stars.  The thing about warmbloods is that people call them ‘ dumb bloods’ and actually nothing could be further than the truth.  They are very very smart.  They will not gallop until they drop dead for you ( well, you have to agree that is smart!), they wont lie down and die for you and if they spot an option that is easier than going between the flags they will take it.  Tim and Falco had been having a great ride until a double of skinnies on an uphill mound.  Falco jumped the first one much bigger than expected but 2 star is about training so Tim held for the 4, got there on three and a half and Falco ran out. Easy to say in hindsight he should have gone for the three but that was also a big ask at Falco’s stage of education.  Tim then had a couple more attempts at an uphill skinny with no run up and Falco was like, ” nah, mate, come on, its so much easier to go to the side!”.  Not much you can do there but before Falco gets his holiday I am sure he will be down in the Mere Farm cross country schooling paddock learning that the choice is simply to jump between the flags!  It was a one off lesson that stood Dash in good stead and as Tim says, it seems to be a lesson that all the warmbloods have to learn at some stage and because they are so good on the flat it always comes when they are in the lead!  Cloud Dancer ( Marley) did it at the CIC 2 star at Barbury…it is all about learning on the job.

On the plus side owner Sue Benson was going to have to miss the showjumping anyway as she now heads to Boekelo for her course designing duties next week.  And Tim is now down to just the one CIC 1 star horse, Hester for cross country tomorrow and his new mission is to try and get the cross country done early as he is also tasked with being back at Mere Farm before Jonelle’s scheduled 4 am departure for Little Downham with Classic Moet and Cloud Dancer as she forgot to take all her gear out of the truck before it went to France!

Dare we blame ” baby brain”?