Photo credit Jess Wilson.
Both Chio 20 and Vitali flew through the jog this morning and Chio jumped his 2L track with a rail and 1 time which given he has only completed a handful of novices prior to this is quite the feat! The forecast had been pretty dire for today and it certainly wasn’t very nice at all with heavy rain and strong winds blowing down the show jumps. Hopefully Chio will be a bit tired by now and he will certainly have come a long way in terms of his education this week.
Vitali doesn’t like the rain much and there were large puddles in between the fences in the main arena which once upon a time he would have spooked at making it a tricky ride. But he is all grown up now at 11 and he jumped a superb clear round, a couple of seconds inside the time which not everyone had been able to do. Tim was, as always, the pure professional and made it look easy. The next Swiss rider lying in 2nd had a few rails to drop behind Tim and the leader, another Swiss rider was announced by the commentator on Facebook live to have “jumped clear in 4 out of 5 of his last four star rounds” before walking through the first fence. Another rail and some time and it was a win for Vitali and Tim at their first three day together, Vitali’s first 4*Long and in fact, his second ever Long! In 2017 he was in the lead at Le Lion d’Angers after XC when he had 2 rails to drop to 6th with James Avery and that is his only Long on his record. Lucky that Tim only needed, as a Cat A rider, for the horse to have an MER at one 3*L to be qualified for the 4L and also goes to show that the top riders don’t need to keep running horses endlessly at FEI Level to pick up qualifications, they should all be allowed to do allot less if they are winning internationally.
So ends a long couple of weeks away for Tim and marks the start of a long drive home from Poland for Jess with her Brazilian mates as they convoy across Europe. Tim gets to spend most of tomorrow travelling home, via Paris this time. One day we may be able to just get on a plane and fly somewhere direct again!