Lead image… Jonelle and George at Cornbury with thanks to https://williamcarey.smugmug.com This is NOT a free image.

Pontispool is one of those Marmite events….some love, some hate.  Tim and Jonelle have always been supporters of the event and usually rock up to the September venue on a sugar high after Blenheim.

No Blenheim this year sadly but Tim had cut his crew down to just the one ride as the other intermediates had valiantly tackled Cornbury and didn’t need another run. So he had a very leisurely morning with just the beautiful Chio 20 to run round the novice and a 25, a rail and a hack round clear ticked the boxes for him. Chio is without doubt class personified in a horse and the coolest thing is he doesn’t even know it.

Meanwhile Jonelle was pretty busy with her 3 rides and Curly Girl was the first of her intermediate runners.  She walked the track first up and thought it pretty OK but was soon hearing of riderless horses galloping home and plenty of problems out on the course. Curly was excited but contained herself for a 26 test, was a bit tense in the showjumping but again managed it for a clear and then cantered around the cross country with 20 time as her prep for the 3*L at Lignieres in October.  Jonelle professes herself very pleased with her and sees a big future ahead which is a nice thing to note as you near the end of a (mad) season.

Diamante (Monte) was tackling her first intermediate which apparently caused more than one rider to declare Jonelle mad but she tackled it with gusto.  A couple of green errors in the test scored a 31 and Monte has this habit of arguing with Jonelle’s hand a couple of strides out to a fence sometimes and she paid the price for that here with 2 down as she ran through the distance, something she could get away with at novice but not so much so when the fences are bigger.  She then went cross country with all the bravado in the world and just picked up a 20 at the skinny three from home.  Jonelle said it was a skinny hidden behind a tree and when she walked she saw the course designer has meant you to go right of the tree to make the route easier but Jonelle felt that going left was the better option as although the route was not as obvious it was a clearer question.  As she came down with Monte, despite having jumped the left with Curly, she went right as Monte had been so good and promptly had a run off!  In Jonelle’s own style she describes it as “so that’s what happens when you are a numpty and change your mind mid track” which is so refreshingly honest and so Jonelle!  She was delighted with Monte’s first crack at intermediate.

Faerie Magnifico ( George) is a late developer for sure and after the brat dressage at Cornbury he was still very much on his toes at Pontispool but managed to contain it until the last pass by A before the medium to end the test when he inexplicably put in a huge buck.  The judge even got out of her car to ask Jonelle what that was about as it was so random! A 26 score put him back in the good books and although he copped a raill in the showjumping Jonelle is so excited about his new found enthusiasm and way of going.  He then simply adored the cross country as always and was unlucky to pick up a 20 when he picked up early at the water at fence 4 and then they somewhat misjudged the exit and ended up on a crappy stride so ran off. He popped it second time around and Jonelle reverted to her left hand side route at the skinny three from home which worked perfectly.

A typical one day.. a learning curve and some hits and misses as the education continues.