Photo credit Tilly Berendt.
Pure class from Tim today as we have come to expect. As the new World No. 1 went into the start box he let first time 5 star pony Coup de Coeur Dudevin (Joker) find his rhythm over the first few fences and wasn’t chasing the clock at all. Once Joker had established that he was very, no indeed, REALLY up for the challenge he let the handbrake off and away they went.
Joker simply stormed around his first 5 star and, quite unbelievably, his 4th long format. He trusts Tim and Tim trusts him and when he went off a guessy stride at the enormous crab water Tim just rode it with him and they came out looking for all the world like that was the plan all along. Tim was quick to pay credit to Joker at the finish but it was a masterful ride with Tim able to use all his experience to help Joker work out the puzzles en route.
Great, if not perfect going, made the track and time gettable so there leaderboard remains close, if not claustrophobic. Tim sits 2 points clear with not a show jump in hand over the next two placings but in reality, all accolades go to Joker tonight who has stepped up beyond belief.
And Tim would be fast to credit Jonelle too. Jonelle handed the ride over to Tim after much heart searching this spring, but sure enough that the horse was a superstar but was a boys ride in order to achieve that.
And that, for sure, sums up Tim and Jonelle. They are always on the winning team.
Read Tilly Berendt’s coverage of the press conference here: