Whilst Tim was busy adding another 5* win to his CV Jonelle had 4 advanced horses at Nunney in the OI. Somewhat amazingly the ground at Nunney was remarkable considering we have had something like 3 months worth of rain in the last 10 days and whilst there was undoubtedly some mud around you would not have thought that this was day 3 of a very busy event. You didn’t even need wellies!
The horses certainly relished the foot perfect going on the somewhat luminous green grass and after Cloud Dancer ( Marley) had dazzled the judges to lead the section with a 20 it was Faerie Dianino’s chance to show off. And she certainly did so in her own inimitable style with some impressive work and some truly naughty tantrums. She sat at the bottom of the field on a 39 and was pretty proud of her efforts. Jonelle pronounced it an “improvement” and said “at least we are now in the thirties!” which I guess is one way of putting a positive spin on it!
Cooley Showtime ( Eddie) could have been in the twenties as well but for his wicked sense of humour which showed in a couple of cheeky moments. Kindred Spirit ( Joey) was his usual consistently reliable self which meant that he and Eddie sat on the same score of 32.7.
The girls brought all 4 horses over to the showjumping as they were all in the same section and it was a slick operation as Jonelle jumped all of them inside around 45 minutes. There was a certain amount of tension at times in the collecting ring as the final trial for the Juniors was going on at the same time and some ‘pony club’ mothers were clearly feeling the pressure! Having been cut up a couple of times and then having to wait for the oxer whilst a small child galloped at it repeatedly with varying degrees of success Jonelle was heard to mutter “well that child will not be going to any Championships if she can’t see a better distance than that” which was pretty funny as our crew were all uber relaxed!
Marley jumped a super round and was unlucky to come around the corner to a vertical which had the pole on top rolled so that the highest point was in the middle. Usually poles with a bow are rolled the opposite way so it was a bit of an unfortunate 4 faults for him and not really deserved. Maggie May thought the showjumping much more fun than dressage as always and jumped an immaculate round which earned her some more fans from the sidelines. Eddie was so pleased to be out in public he jumped so exuberantly over the poles that despite his clear jumping he picked a time fault! He looks simply magnificent right now and he so knows it…with just Joey left the girls took those three horses back to the truck with Hayley saying ” I’ll take Maggie May, you can take the two clowns” as Eddie and Marley left sniping at each other and casually trying to knock their groom off her feet.
Joey jumped a lovely round with just the bogey vertical at number 7 falling for 4 faults. Despite the experience in that class there were not that many clears and Joey was definitely one of the smarter 4 faults.
Cross country time saw the sun start to make a welcome appearance and with Nunney’s undulations and twists and turns forming a track that is a bit of a motorbike type rather than a big galloping one it was good to see horses enjoying themselves as in a hard ground year it is not always such a pretty picture. Maggie May thought it marvelous fun although even she, with all her experience, wasn’t the biggest fan of the third element of the water and didn’t give Jonelle the most comfortable jump into it. For some reason that complex didn’t seem to the liking of a fair few horses who rather blundered through the brush although the final arrowhead wasn’t a problem. Marley really is the OI King and he sped around to take the win yet again for his third this season alone. Eddie and Joey both put in solid clears around a track which is well within their capabilities and all four of the horses had a thoroughly enjoyable day out.
The team head off to Arville this week for yet another International and as its an ERM all the phases can be watched. Meanwhile the truck from Luhmuhlen should be nearly home with Queen Ava who will now be even more aloof than normal!