Off down to Taunton for the team on Monday morning with two novice rides for Tim and two OI rides for Jonelle. Tim had a spectacularly good day with Hester winning her novice section with a 22 dressage. This bodes very well for Hester’s next outing which is her first international CIC 1 star out at Lignieres in a couple of weeks. Spartaco del Usignolo was under a bit of pressure to pick up some points as he was lying 4th in the current Le Lion D’Angers list and needed to move up to 3rd to be guaranteed a place. They duly obliged with Spartacus picking up 2nd spot, adding 5 points to his tally which did the job. He also qualified for a NRF next year which could take him to the novice Championships at Gatcombe next summer.
Jonelle’s day was not quite as straightforward. Faerie Dianimo ( Maggie May) is notoriously tricky at one day dressage as she simply doesn’t see the point of executing moves in a field in front of 1 judge. She entertains herself by inventing new movement to dazzle said judge but then often loses her balance as pure dressage is usually done on a surface! Today she was actually not too bad apart from one movement when she had invented “extended piaffe” in her trot work and as Jonelle saw her front legs flashing up around her nose and asked for canter strike off Maggie reacted furiously as she could not possibly strike into canter from her extended piaffe position! A double clear followed and Maggie May was pronounced ready to go to Ballindenisk this week for her CIC 3 star start. I am not at all sure Cork will be to Maggie’s taste at all ( she is more of a Rio girl) but we shall see!
Cloud Dancer ( Marley) has also not been out for some 10 or 11 months and Jonelle was quietly wondering what he had in store for her as he has been on a sort of sugar high for the last couple of weeks! However, he stunned her by being fabulous in the warm up and then superb in his test for a magic 19 score. As she congratulated herself in the final halt and walked out thinking this may be a winning return to competition he suddenly lost the plot and she found herself wrapped round his neck as he stood up or clinging on as he threw himself around on the way back to the horsebox.
Showjumping was even worse. I don’t think he touched a pole but he saw dragons hiding in the showjump fillers and a few times stopped dead some 20 yards before the fence snorting like a 4 year old and proving to be pretty hard to ride! Some 12 jumping and umpteen time saw him throw his dressage score properly under the bus!
He also spent most of the day taking his headcollar off and annoying the other horses. Sparacus aimed a kick at him and he was generally a pain in the butt until he went cross country and blew all the cobwebs away with a lovely clear round. Tim was delighted that Jonelle could ride her own brats while his novices went superbly!
Tomorrow ( Tuesday) they head to Ireland overnight for Ballindenisk and a week in the Irish rain no doubt!