Upton BE 100..and the Return of the King

Upton BE 100..and the Return of the King
NZL-Tim Price rides Wesko. 2018 FRA-Haras de Jardy Event Rider Masters. Friday 13 July. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography

You can tell when we get to the middle of the season as the BE 100 days, which are usually my favorite to write about, get positively boring. Since Tim and Jonelle have a policy of the babies ‘learning on the job” as opposed to being trained until they are 7 before they attempt 21 BE 90’s it means anything and everything can happen and it is not unusual to see Tim either sitting patiently on a rearing horse or emerging from some scrub on the cross country far faster than he went in!  Jonelle’s tend to be a bit more trained but she too has encountered some “fence of doom” at some far flung venue that seemed a good idea on paper. We have learnt that Dorset in particular seems to have the biggest ratio of walks of shame to completions in the Price 100 camp so we tend to head North or East now.  Which was why this years crop of young horses found themselves at Upton and they all behaved admirably well.

Kalypso du Boisson Z was the star of the show with a 22 dressage and just a bit of time added for a runner up slot.  Had Jonelle gone just a couple of seconds quicker she would have won but I guess when you have bagged 2 four stars by July you can let a 100 go to someone else.  Faerie Magnifico ( George) also posted a posy 25 but he rolled a pole so that saw him wind up in 6th and suffer the humiliation of his niece, Seych’Elle, being one place ahead of him as Tim only added a couple of time to a 26 dressage. Gino Gingerino did another good test for a 28 but got a little distracted in the showjumping to pick up 8 faults before another clear cross country.  The only slightly interesting bit of the day was Grafiba picking up 16 time in the showjumping while he hung around in front of the crowds but even he didn’t touch a pole and then he also nipped around the course with the greatest of ease.

Meanwhile you will have noted that the cover photo is most certainly not one of the above. it is the legend that is Wesko (Dash) who this weekend makes his return to the international stage at the ERM in Jardy.  Tim and I had an agreement back in December that when the time came for Dash to return to the world stage we would release it on here as an exclusive.  Apparently Tim forgot about that when Horse and Hound called him last week when the Jardy entry list went public!

So, in case you don’t read Dog and Nag online here’s the lowdown.  Dash’s story has so many different elements it will probably be made into a musical one day. There are the amazing highs of winning Luhmuhlen and finishing 2nd and 3rd at Rolex and Pau, the tragedy of the passing away of his owner, Christiana Knudsen, the injury that he sustained that kept him out of Rio Olympics and his slow return to fitness which so many of the team at Mere Farm and the ESNZ Horsehealth team have had a massive part in.

So as Dash returns to centre stage this weekend Tim can enjoy what he describes as “like coming home” as once again he and his best mate strut their stuff.  Whatever happens, win or lose, Dash will have ticked off his first aim for 2018 which was to go to Jardy.  There genuinely is no real plan after that as Tim was always keen to take it one step at a time and WEG was never on the cards but for those of us who like fairy tale endings we can whisper Tokyo quietly to ourselves.  And to Dash if he ever gets his face out of his food for long enough to listen!

NZL-Tim Price rides Wesko, passing Jonelle on Cooley Showtime. 2018 FRA-Haras de Jardy Event Rider Masters. Friday 13 July. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography