Week 2 of the Sunshine Tour

Week 2 of the Sunshine Tour

News Image credit: Harriet Ashbridge.

The young horses kicked off the start of the week as usual and Cooling Seeing Magic (Guthrie) is yet again holding his own with the jumpers to finish 3rd and pick up €45 for his troubles as well as a podium finish.  Tim’s young horses are learning lots with Jarillo (Milo) continuing to be the star of the group with some super rounds. Chio 20 and Viscount Viktor are both coping well with a step up in height although both of them have had some understandably green moments which is all part of the learning curve.

The weather went properly downhill on Friday with a strong wind and pouring rain and that caused a few mini meltdowns as a few of the horses that were enjoying the sun got properly spooked!  When it rains in Spain it properly chucks it down and both Killbunny Andy and Chevalian Torpedo (Pistol Pete) had proper strops but both recovered from them over the weekend. Diamante ( Monte) has all the talent but isn’t always the easiest ride but she got through it as well and Jonelle has decided that Faerie Magnifico (George) is definitely a double personality disorder boy as she said he has been wild all week and very nearly dropped her on several occasions.  She has named his alter ego Geoffrey and said he was so naughty he didn’t get his Monday off but jumped the clear round today and was an angel so hopefully we can wave goodbye to Geoffrey for a bit. Midnight Galaxy (Herbie)  also added to the prize pot and Efeba (Kanga) continues to gain good mileage.

The grown ups have all been superstars this weekend for both Tim and Jonelle. Vitali has topped the leaderboard for Tim with €55 winnings this week and that puts him in 2nd spot overall, just overtaking Grovine de Reve on €49 for the week. Winner winner chicken dinner is…the evergreen Classic Moet (Molly) who is on the form of her life for 2 prizes adding up to a clear win with €79. Ascona M (Ava) has also jumped great rounds but she is one horse who really doesnt need to be encouraged to jump at competitive speeds, she is quite keen on the go fast option anyway! McClaren (Mac) coped admirably, like a true event horse should, in horrible weather on Friday and jumped his usual spectacular round which always leaves Jonelle with a smile on her face.

So with one more week to go and with better weather forecast for next weekend things are looking good.  The bad news came through this morning that Badminton have rather unsportingly pulled the plug which has shocked everyone as they have been adamant since December that they would run behind closed doors. We are just 16 days away from the closing date to enter and horses all over Europe have been galloping for well over a month now in preparation and I think it is fair to say it is a very unpopular decision. To lay the blame on “Health and Safety” in a massive 52,000 acre estate with 80 odd horses running is quite frankly laughable.  It is tragic for horses like Molly, Bango and Ringwood Skyboy who are out and out Badminton and Burghley horses and have now missed out on 2 Badmintons and a Burghley in the last year and when they are heading towards the end of their competitive careers to boot. Covid is to blame for many things but I don’t think it is Covid that is at the root of this cancellation…..the situation was far more serious when they announced it would run behind closed doors in 2020.

To finish…who cant resist Abel and Kobe sharing a chair! Credit Harriet Ashbridge.