Millstreet Sunday.

Millstreet Sunday.

Tim was first out of the gate this morning with Polystar (Nero) in the 3*S XC. They have been cross country schooling a couple of times but never had a start together and this was very much a warm up for Strzegom 4L in a few weeks time.  They certainly got their moneys worth with what had to be the slowest clear of the day but it was always on the cards!

At about the same time Jonelle was jumping Full Monty de Lacense (FM) in the 2*L and he came in with his eyes on stalks looking pretty wired.  Jonelle took the time to give him a pat and some reassurance and with her calm and measured approach to every fence FM visibly relaxed and jumped a beautiful clear.  Taking FM and Fernhill  Kankan down on the Sunshine Tour this spring certainly seemed worth it today!

NZL-Jonelle Price rides Fernhill Kankan. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography

Kankan came into the arena an hour later as leader and exited as a worthy winner of her first ever three day event.  She did it in style as well with a superb display of jumping and then throughly enjoyed the prize giving.  I think a new Princess has arrived on the block, Kankan thought that hanging out in the main arena with her owners, a few beaten horses, a fancy Millstreet rug on her back and Libby Law blinding her with her flash photography was pretty damn cool.  She was a little unsure about the lap of honour which, in true Irish style, meant dodging the tractor which was dragging the arena at warp speed but she is a farm girl so coped admirably. Congratulations to Terry Miller and Julia Lucas and a really great end to a rather odd week for Jonelle.

Tim and Happy Boy jumped out of order early on in the 4L showjumping and Happy put in another assured clear round of jumping to finish his first 4*L in style. Happy’s baby spook which was so tricky to ride in the early days has now developed into a purely careful horse who looks at the top rail.  It was smooth and classy and what we have come to expect of this combination. He continued to climb throughout the afternoon and ended up a credible 6th in his first 4L.

Coup de Coeur Dudevin (Joker) went around 30 minutes later lying in 4th spot. Tim has jumped 5 intermediate rounds on him and had 4 faults in three of them but today he and Joker were on the same page with a brilliant clear round that elevated him to eventual runner up slot behind Laura Collett and Dacapo who led from the dressage.  It was a brilliant start to Tim and Joker’s FEI path together and congratulations to Jean-Louis Stauffer who must be cuffed to bits.

It was quite the Tim Price top 11 in Millstreet.  Aside from Joker and Happy’s 2nd and 6th, in 3rd spot lay his friend Senza Fine who owner Terry Miller moved to Esib Power at Tim’s suggestion. And in 11th was another dear friend ( and Boekelo winner) Cekatinka, now owned by the Japanese Racing Authority and who was purchased with Tokyo in mind although she missed that.

One of the very nice things about Millstreet is that they welcome the owners into the main arena for the prize giving and it is such a simple gesture that means so much.  It should be made compulsory!

Last job of the day was the 3L showjumping and Gurtera Jimmy Clover had waited patiently all day for his turn in the arena. There were not so many clears in the 3L which is not unusual as for many horses it is their first full on three day and they are a bit tired in their bodies and a bit flat and strung out.  Jimmy was no exception, he jumped some lovely fences but tipped fence 4 and the last which didn’t move him down, he remained in 11th spot as so many others faulted during the afternoon! Top 12 at Millstreet is class at your first three day event and he’s picked up a qualification which was always the main aim and he will come back from a short summer break mentally and physically the better for it.

With 8 horses it was never going to be the perfect weekend for all of them but fair to say 80% of them have ticked the boxes and Kankan and Joker have exceeded expectations!

NZL-Tim Price rides Coup de Coeur Dudevin during the CCI4*-L Cross Country. Interim-4th. 2022 IRL-Millstreet International Horse Trials. Green Glens Arena. Millstreet, Co. Cork, Ireland. Saturday 4 June 2022. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography