The rain came overnight and the day ended up being sunny and windy which yet again left the footing in perfect condition. All the Price horses passed the trot up looking smart and sassy and first up on the agenda was the CI3*L showjumping. As always the Tatts international arena had a good crowd thronging the sides and plenty of flags snapping in the wind to add to the buzzy atmosphere. The warm up is pretty tight as well so it is quite a pressured situation for young horses to find themselves in but great for their learning curve.
Lime Rickey has certainly learnt allot this weekend and he added to his experience with a great round in the showjumping, just adding 4 faults to his tally. He has achieved his qualification at the 3*L and that was a big ask of him at this stage in his career so he can go home and have a nice holiday to recover. Spartaco yet again gave an immaculate display of jumping and his clear round ticked his qualification box too which was nice after the disappointment of not being able to showjump at Lignieres last Autumn when he was in the lead.
Jumping machine Grappa Nera was having a fabulous time and she relished her chance to show off her athleticism and was really quite unlucky to just touch the last rail to add 4 faults and drop her outside the top 10. She also has ticked her qualification box though so another to have earnt a well deserved mini break.
Senza Fine never looked like touching a rail and her clear round was good enough to keep her in 4th spot. It was a great display of jumping and she stood out for her powerful jump and seriously grown up attitude. It was also good to see old Mere Farm friend Aloha ( Halo) jump a super clear with ex pupil James Avery to retain his second place and split William Fox-Pitt and Izzy Taylor on the podium.
The crowds moved out onto the cross country course for the CI4*S and by now there was a huge gathering on the mounds between the water jumps and the base of the keyhole to drop to corner combination. It was a small but classy field and the pace was set early on by Sam Watson who powered around on his yellow pony to make time. There were some thrills and spills and some pretty impressive rounds before Tim came out as last to go on Ascona M ( Ava).
To be crowned world No. 1 and be in the lead at an international on the same weekend brings its own pressures but pressure is something TP thrives upon. From the moment that Ava set off from the start with her huge stride it was an electric atmosphere as the commentators kept building the buzz and Ava and Tim tackled every combination with their usual gusto. The only slightly hairy moment came when Tim lost a stirrup through the brush corner after the big drop and then dropped the opposite rein but Ava has always been honest and she stayed straight enough through the skinny over the ditch that came up next. They flew down to the last water and ballooned the big drop in before being as straight as a dye through the double of brush skinnies that followed it. They galloped home to come in under time and win the class…a simply thrilling way to head off to Luhmuhlen 5 star in a couple of weeks!
One of the journalists said that this was only Tim’s second CI3*S win which is hard to believe… if they are right then it was with Wesko ( Dash) in 2015 before he went off and won Luhmuhlen…. we like this line of thought, we like it allot!