Photo credit Leszek Wojcik.
Well its definitely hats off to Tim today in Strzegom as he is not only in the lead on Chio 20 in the 2*L on 27.1 ( by a narrow margin of under .9) but smashed it in the 4L with Vitali with a stunning test to take the lead as well on 28.7 which is near 5 penalties ahead of the rest of the field. The sun was shining, Vitali looked supercool and the only blip in the test was the reinback where Vitali was pretty resistant and Tim decided today was not the day to insist. The trot work and the canter work was super, the walk safe and the halts and changes high points. Not too shabby a performance having been dropped and near trampled yesterday by Chio! Chio is a show off in the ring which is always very helpful and is usually forgiven for his lack of manners on the ground. I think tomorrow will surprise him with his biggest test to date and we might actually have a well behaved horse at Sunday’s jog!
Meanwhile in Cirencester it was a frosty morning and after some early weak sunshine the heavens opened and a good hour of proper rain (which was nearly sleet) and was damn freezing! Those who know Jonelle know she hates the cold and she was not impressed to be riding round with soggy breeches. She was wearing a coat with her number over the top in the dressage warm up and the steward was heard to ask her when she intended to take her coat off to which Jonelle replied ” No chance!” . Killbunny Andy is Irish so he had no problem with the weather and produced a lovely test but that was the end of his day as he is still on the “steady” list after his altercation with a cross country fence at Burnham Market which he is still making the most of!
Two up and coming intermediates for Jonelle in Diamante (Monte) and Tomochichi (Chichi). Cirencester Park, when not in a hailstorm, is a beautiful venue and apparently was a major fixture in the calendar back in the day (Even before my time!). It would lend itself to a three day for sure but there were some subtle nuances that need to be addressed before the OC go down that road. For sure, hats off to the Tristar team in making this happen in a short space of time and as always it was a slick operation but with ground having been tinder dry in the last few weeks it was surprising how quickly it got deep in places on skinny lines after the rain which, as Jonelle pointed out, doesn’t bode well for an event originally given a March fixture.
There were also two questions cross country which were testing, the combination at fence 7 and the rail, step skinny at the third last. The step was up the original Haha wall but it was easily misread by the horses as after a plain rail in it was a forward three to a step that wasn’t clearly defined. Jonelle offered the opinion that perhaps the top of the step should have had a white rail to make it clear which made sense as so many horses jumped the rail and misread the step, just galloping almost into it. Chichi jumped it really well but he has had the benefit of allot of novices under his belt, Monte basically cantered into the step, scrambled up the bank and then did really well to somehow gather everything to jump the skinny afterwards.
So Chichi nailed his first intermediate with a 28, an unlucky rail and a clear in time XC for 4th spot. This boy is for the watching as he moves on up. Monte did a double clear on her 2nd intermediate and should be proud of herself.
Harriet showed up with Otis and Abel… Otis was not a fan of the inclement weather and sat in the buggy whilst Abel took her hood off repeatedly and revelled in it. She looks like a budding Scott of the Antarctic on days like this as she sports her Carlos Paro hand me down Designer Label super coat which all of us were very jealous of.
We are eventing at the end of April yet the weather is stuck in February. Come on weather Gods, be kind!