Showjumping for the ERM first up today and a miserable wet day it looked too. By contrast after weeks of rain we had sunshine in the UK which was fun for us!
The track was tough, the time nearly impossible and with a big open arena plenty of opportunity to add a couple of strides here and there to make it even harder. Grovine de Reve ( Rev) signalled back in the summer at Jardy that he is not the biggest fan of the French hard sand arenas and he flagged it up again today with an uncharacteristic 3 rails down. Jonelle was understandably disappointed as he jumped some super fences and even if the first rail was unlucky, to not make the back rails of two oxers is a bit of an issue…. but the flat sand arenas of France that are watered excessively are not to every horses taste. Its a bit like running on the beach.. the soft sand is impossible and the hard sand at the water edge is quite tough on the shins!
That signalled the end of Rev and Jonelle’s 2019 season but Tim still had plenty to do. He and Ascona M ( Ava) jumped the most incredible showjumping round to be one of only two in the whole class to make time (in company of Michi Jung) but they both had an unbelievably unlucky rail for 4 faults.
For the first time in ERM history not a single combination jumped clear in time. Tim and Ava slipped to 7th and he made the probably wise decsision to totally focus on Pau and treat the cross country as a schooling round. He set off in a rhythm that never changed and whilst he turned Ava up short to the combinations he also tested the brakes, the steering, the angles, the fitness and the concentration. Yet another masterclass from Tim to watch and how right he was as even if he had gone for broke he would have finished 4th in the end… off the podium and with not the right prep for Ava’s attempt at back to back 5 star wins.
Of course the one thing that may hamper Ava’s win at Pau is stable mate Wesko. He hasn’t jumped on the Sunday since 2015 but with a commanding score of 20.7 in the CI3*L and a rail in hand he simply blitzed his pre Pau run with an outstanding clear for the win in Lignieres. He last won a long format in 2014 but it would be hard to bet against him…..
And lets not forget Lime Rickey who has been phenomenal this week for Tim with a superb double clear in his CI3*L at Lignieres. His clear round today elevated himup into 6th spot and passed some true legends of the sport en route. Congratulations to his owner Connie Edmonsdson who has enjoyed some super success with Rickey this year and a whole new learning curve for Rickey who has stepped up admirably.
And last but not least, our surfy dude Spartacus and a tough old CI 4*S for him to tackle at just 8 years old. There was a mix up in the stringing early on which meant Tim galloped down a lane not required before Sparty jumped around for a very grown up clear, gained a heap of experience and is now headed to the paddock for a well earned holiday and one of our favourite ponies of 2019 is yet another tick box headed for the field.
We have been so lucky this season… all of the horses have completed their seasons and headed out to the field. Our saddest moments are reserved for horses that end up on box rest but we don’t have a single one now… and we just have Faerie Magnifico at Le Lion d’Angers and Ava and Dash at Pau left to0 go.
Rock on 2019!