After a busy day at NZ HP Squad training with six horses under the watchful eye of Isobel Wessels on Thursday Tim went up to Somerford Park early on Friday with 5 rides on board the truck.
And it was a great day…Tim could have easily won a few classes but all of these horses have Autumn destination plans and Somerford is a great place to run slowly cross country to realign brakes, headspace, control and all of those issues that go slightly adrift when you run cross country with pace. You need a track that is technical but big enough to still command respect from the horses and that is where Somerford ticks the box, as well as being in the perfect time frame as well.
Falco strutted his posh trot for a 19.5 dressage which was miles in the lead on his section and added a very grown up double clear. Even with 16 times faults he still finished 6th! Cekatinka did her flashy and reliable test in a strong OI section to lead that with a 25 and she popped a sweet double clear in as well.
Kindred Spirit ( Joey) and Tim had had words at squad training the day before and it was good to see that they were friends again on Friday! Joey scored a credible 66% in his OI section, jumped a super clear round and is so well established cross country there was no need to run him round an intermediate.
Cooley Showtime ( Eddie) was his usual brilliant athletic self for a 26 in his OI and the regulation double clear which was only to be expected. All of the intermediate and advanced horses were on spectacular form.
Just Xavier Faer ( Hugo) in the CIC 2 star dressage on Friday and its a test which is not going to show off Hugo’s strong points! But yet again he tried his best to post a 70% mark of 44.9 in the early stages of an enormous section of horses. The truck came home and then returned on Saturday morning for two more dressage tests and an overnight stay.
Spartaco del Usignolo ( Spartacus) was making his CIC 1 star debut and he is a stunning looking dapple grey and he and Tim create a striking picture together. He had come to squad training on Thursday for his first session and while he is green at this level he obviously impressed the judges to score a 47. There are just a couple on 39 in yet another vast section of well over 100 horses so that’s no disgrace and a good way to start his international career.
Ringwood Sky Boy ( Ozzie) was also in the CIC 2 star section with Hugo, but at the opposite end of it! He is probably the most experienced horse in the class but running these 4 star horses round quality 2 stars is a great way of giving them a big dressage arena, a more technical track and a strong showjumping in terms of it being an FEI class so with accredited course builders. Doing an OI with these horses becomes a bit pointless… and Ozzie pulled out all the shots with a 36 to comfortably take the lead. Nice one Ozzie!
Having given birth on Wednesday late afternoon Jonelle finally agreed on Thursday that she and Classic Molly were not going to be going on Friday. They still have an entry in for Blair though!