Its actually week 4 of the Tour for those who have been there from the start but for our guys its the first week and all of the horses have been on flying form.
Tim has a couple of young horses in Midnight Galaxy (Herbie) and Chevalian Topedo (Pistol Pete) and as he says, its very much a learning curve for them. They jump earlier in the week and he was really pleased that they made some mistakes but then both jumped clear on the third day which is exactly why they came on the trip.
His 5 grown up horses have all jumped this weekend and he is really happy with all of them. Wesko (Dash) is seriously in his comfort zone in this phase and popped around the 1m25/30 class with panache and seems to be better than ever. One of his priorities is fitness and he is going cantering on Sunday instead of jumping another round as he is heading for an early spring three day as he still needs to qualify for Tokyo. Lime Rickey was Jonelle’s ride last season but Tim stepped in to ride him at Ligbnieres when Jonelle was pregnant and he has kept the ride. A single rail in the double on Friday before a step up in height to the 1m25/30 yesterday for a super clear sees Rickey certainly heading down the right track and gaining in confidence all the while.
Senza Fine is a true jumping machine and Tim described her as “just awesome” with her only rail coming when Tim was experimenting with a new bit on Saturday and she ran through the distance a bit. Senza was born and bred in Italy and she epitomises the powerful sports cars that Enzo Ferrari developed.. she is all about the go button! Spartacus ( Sparty) is a dude of a horse and although he too hails from Italy he has the more laid back approach to life compared to Senza. He takes most things in his stride and Tim described him simply as “class”.
But, how sweet, Xavier Faer (Hugo) gets the “stand out” description for the weekend! Its not often that our goofy Hugo who is scared of a pole on the ground in January gets the showjumping nod as he can be a bit of a prat at times to say the least. He jumped an immaculate clear over a “proper” 1m30 track and Tim plans to step him up to the 1m35 next weekend. Badminton is going to seem like a breeze after that! He gets to canter with Dash on Sunday instead of jumping again today.
Meanwhile Jonelle has had a stellar weekend too with a complete clean sheet with all of her horses on Saturday to land the “Clear Round Queen” Title. Burto won it on Friday so Tim is busy pointing out that in 2019 he actually had an entire weekend of clear rounds which is the only way to be a true King or Queen!
Grappa Nera (Grape) had to step up to the 1m35 as you are only allowed two horses in each class and Jonelle wanted Molly and Rev to jump another 1m30 track. To be fair to Grape she coped magnificently until Jonelle just lost a bit of ride ability right at the end of the track but a great effort… Grape is not short of bravery for sure. Molly had an early rail at fence three but jumped a super round apart from that mistake whilst Rev and Mac have been “awesome” all weekend. Diamante (Monte) is jumping in the 1m20 and she is holding her own whilst Curly Girl is still quite excited by her surroundings and the general buzz to prove she definitely needed the trip. Eventing showjumping is going to seem rather boring by comparison which is pretty much the general idea with Curly. So it’s the boys that are leading this weekend for Jonelle with Rev and Mac trouncing the girls.. and on International Women’s Day of all days!
Luis Alvarez Cevera drives down this week and will train with Tim and Jonelle on Wednesday before helping them next weekend. In other news Otis has been enjoying some beach days with Harriet and apparently the temp next week is going up to 27 degrees. Back in the soggy UK that seems like a million miles away not just three days driving!