Pau SJ.... and another 5 star win for Tim

Pau SJ.... and another 5 star win for Tim

It has been yet another challenging year as international eventing during a pandemic is not the easiest sport and throw in Brexit and you have myriad unheard of challenges. No sooner had Tim and Jonelle got through the jog than there was a message flagged that Spartaco ( Sparty) who is en route to Pratoni del Vivaro 4*L in Italy was stuck at the border as the rules have changed yet again and his PA ( groom) is not on his carnet.

That got sorted and Tim and Sparty will meet up in Rome for the last competition of the year.  Today was a huge day as for the first time ever Tim lead from start to finish with Falco to bag his 4th 5 star win which is quite some achievement. Falco marked his card with a win at Millstreet back in the  spring in bottomless mud and yesterday galloped 11. minutes 50 like it was in his back yard.  Today he belted down the jog strip and as he jumped the first fence in the usual massive Pau showjumping track you could see shoulders slumping ringside as the riders hoping to move up knew that this was a horse that wasn’t going to touch a fence.

Falco has always over jumped showjumping and we have spectacular photos to prove it.  But no one knew if this German bred gelding would still do this after a 5 * cross country but my God did he prove his detractors wrong by a mile today. He had a rail in hand when he went in thanks to Padraig McCarthy and Fallulah having 16 faults whilst lying in 2nd which also moved Jonelle and McClaren ( Mac) up into 3rd spot but Falco never looked like he  needed his surf break as he soared above every single fence to win by some 7 points which is virtually unheard of in todays sport.

We are so happy for Sue Benson.  His loyal and so proud owner has stuck by her horse through years of penalties and so close and if onlys.  A lesser horsewomen would have bailed way back when the cross country seemed to be simply a step too far for the super talented Falco who thought that if he jumped sky high over everything life would be good.  Time and time again Tim tried to tell him that he just needed to listen to him and then in Strzegom last year Falco turned into a cross country pro that bolted round the track and picked up 40 jumping through over enthusiasm! And then, after that, Tim upped the bitting and Falco just grew up and now Tim wins at Millstreet 4L and Pau 5 L and in so doing Falco  has leapt to the the head of Tim’s string with an emphatic season of results.  Hats off to Tim too as he also never gave up believing that Falco’s undeniable talent could be harnessed.

And to another amazing talent, the Mighty McClaren.  Mac came late to international stardom and after a meteoric rise with Sir Mark Todd had some time out before coming back with Jonelle. To say that they are both little people with a big ego is something of an understatement and they have had a couple of clashes along the way and a tough time at 4 star in the dressage when they just didn’t get the marks they deserved.  Yesterday Mac truly earned his stripes as a 5 star horse and Jonelle rode her socks off.  Today they jumped a magical clear but just 2 seconds over time dropped them from the 2nd position on the podium to the third so the Price 1/2 dream didn’t quite happen but damn close! And so cool that one half of the ownership ( David Thomson ) was there to see it. Mac we salute you…. you are a legend.

Just three horses finished on their dressage score…. Tim and Falco, Tom McEwen who rose from 2oth after dressage to 2nd and French legend Maxime Live from 24th to 3rd.  This is true 5 star and this is why it is the pinnacle of our sport as a double jumping clear is what 5 star results should be about.

Its not quite the end but its nearly the end and what way to go.  Good job Team Price!