Another freezing day eventing at Ardingly Showgrounds although at least today we had intermittent sunshine which made life outdoors much more bearable. There was snow on the side of the A4 this morning which is not that welcome in April!
Eight team Price horses crammed into one OI section made it a day of rushing and the team at the truck did a super job keeping the horses coming despite early setbacks. Wesko ( Dash) can be on occasion a pretty bad traveller and Jess said they had to stop 5 times to sort out the partitions and he emerged at the venue with skin off his hip. Vitali did a bit of horsebox mutilation but it was pretty cool to see at the end of the day Team Price had 5 horses in the top 10.
Or maybe it would be fairer to say that Tim had 2nd, 4th, 7th and 8th! His team of advanced horses, Falco, Vitali, Spartaco ( Sparty) and Dash all scored between 26 and 28 on the flat whereas Jonelle was hampered by a redhead with an opinion on the flat (Killbunny Andy), a pony with an alter ego called Geoffrey (Faerie Magnifico aka George) and one Princess who doesn’t do dressage in a field. (Faerie Dianimo aka Maggie May). McClaren was awesome for a 28 which slightly saved her blushes and he is one of her few bankers on the flat at the moment!
Jonelle’s scores were otherwise in the 30’s with Maggie May having a very generous 39 on her card. She did get through the trot work but her attempt at a shoulder in in extended trot was unusual to say the least. The canter work was…..entertaining for me but Jonelle looked a bit miffed! George changed into Geoffrey ( aka total arsehole) and was lethally vile before George returned for the jumping phases.
Having come off the back of a Shane Breen day it was pretty cool to see all 8 horses showjumping clear. The collecting ring was a bemusing mixture of ridiculous and dangerous! The stewards wouldn’t let you touch the poles without disposable gloves but they didn’t have any to give out. Big shout out to Josh Levi who saved me a return trip to the truck! The ring was narrow and long and they had put 4 warm up fences in a solid line with about 3 meters either end spare for the horses and people to go backwards and forwards. Consequently you were stuck on a wing in between each fence if you ventured in to change one and quite frankly Covid was the least of your worries in that warm up! If it was a bit dodgy today with that advanced crowd I can’t imagine what it would be like on a 100 day!
The cross country has, Tim opined, been much updated and he said it was perfect for the crew that they had there today. It has a little bit of everything, a couple of waters, lots of turning combinations, drops, hills, arrowheads and the going was good enough to let them roll on. George was a bit spooky but stepped up to deal with it and the other 7 of them easily galloped around the track and it was a really productive day if a little squeezed in time.
Tomorrow we have a squad day with Isobel Wessels running the 5 Kentucky bound horses through their tests. Wednesday Megan and Lucy fly and the horses fly and Friday Saturday sees Team Price at Burnham Market. Its all pretty full on right now but what a great team of crew we have and such an amazing bunch of horses and owners.