Wellington International

Wellington International

The impending World Championships have necessitated a few changes so Jonelle found herself contesting the 3*Short at Wellington with Fernhill Kankan and Full Monty de Lacense (FM) instead of the intermediate.  Huge thanks to Diane Miller who made the impossible possible as Jonelle could only do two Friday dressage tests as Lorenzo Monachesi was getting married on the Saturday!

Kankan posted a 32.9 and FM a 33.8 which was a good effort from both of them in a big arena and with their first stab at the three star level.  Jonelle returned on Sunday and Kankan ticked off her qualification box for the young horse 7 year old Championships at le Lion d’Angers in October with a double clear and 7.2 time.  FM tapped out a pole and also went clear cross country, albeit with a slight hiatus and a whopping 50 time penalties!

FM is nothing if not smart and this time last year he tackled his first novice at Wellington and he found the coffin quite a challenge, firstly stopping at the rail in and then baulking at the ditch before scrambling through.  He did have a moment at the coffin in Millstreet as well so Jonelle had prepped at home by training over the new coffin they had built in the cross country field and all was set fair.  As Jonelle galloped towards fence 6 which was a table over a ditch FM realised in a flash that this was the same ditch line that he wasn’t over keen on last year.  He did what any self respecting ‘suss out the dragon in the ditch’ pony would do and slammed on the brakes 50 yards away and said no thank you.  Jonelle had to go a bit west and get creative with some trot circles and eventually persuaded a very reluctant FM that there we’re no dragons in said ditch and he jumped it very carefully and then headed on.

But damage done….50 time means no qualifying score for Lignieres 3L so it all depends on some shimmying around at Cornbury next weekend and whether that is possible!

Monday saw a very early start for Jonelle and Tim as they both had 8am dressage tests.  Yet again the sun was shining on a lovely day and Wellington had made a huge effort with the ground for their Bank Holiday extravaganza.  They run a great family day out and there were plenty of crowds milling around the main arena and busy trade stands.  The dressage is run by the truck park on flat ground and in a much quieter atmosphere although Hiarado (Jools) through it plenty buzzy enough as she bounced around the warm up with Jonelle! There were two simple changes in her test and she took full advantage of Jonelle’s flying change training to demonstrate she has them nailed and made some basic mistakes that meant despite some lovely work she scored a 37.  Killbunny Andy had a couple of redhead moments to score a 33 aside from some smart work and Jonelle’s lovely newest addition, Leb Lias Jewel, was the ultimate pro first up with a 29.6 and quite the savvy chick she is proving to be on her first outing in the UK.

As Jonelle started to warm Jewel up for the SJ the stewards came bustling across to inform her that since Jewel hadn’t done 5 novices clear she wouldn’t be able to continue with her day.  Echoes of Frickley!  The BE entry system isn’t linked to the FEI entry records ( I mean, why on earth isn’t it?!) so Jonelle was able to inform them that Jewel has many more than 5 novices clear, she has been to the European Championships and started at 5 star. Jewel had been a late substitution but was fully legal so the stewards agreed with Jonelle and retreated and Jewel jumped a super cool double clear to finish 4th in her section adding nothing to her dressage. Jools was described as “sassy” in the show jumping warm up by Jonelle as she tried some cheeky moves and then she also jumped a lovely double clear to finish 9th.  Andy jumped a very confident round to just drop a pole before sauntering around the cross country for just 4 time and looked very happy to be out again and get a little further than the dressage.

Tim had 4 Intermediate and OI rides before he even started Jarillo (Milo) in his first advanced.  Spartaco did a lovely test at 8am for a 24.1 then fell asleep in the showjumping to pick up 8 faults before having an easy  run around the OI which he found very easy after his excursions at 5 star. Gurtera Jimmy Clover scored a 31 and was back to his usual double clear and dealt with a water that required most certainly canter and no trotting in a bold and assured way which was nice! Viktor has now upgraded to advanced so he was running in his last intermediate section and he made it a great one by finishing second and thus neatly qualifying himself for the intermediate championships at Gatcombe next year by adding nothing to his 28 dressage.  Total Belief (April) survived an incident in the dressage warm up when Tim decided to hop off and remove her padded ears which sounds quite simple but even though Tim is a good 6′ April is a good 17hh with a very long neck and having got one ear off April decided to shake her head violently and throw her considerable body around which scattered a few onlookers and caused a rare moment of excitement in the dressage field.  Tim removed them and hopped on from the ground which was impressive before performing a lovely test for a 27 and April jumped herself into third spot with a very confident and assured double clear.

Sometime late in the afternoon Milo finally got to strut his stuff with Tim in tails and a nice big arena for his first advanced test.  The dressage field was pretty quiet by now so Milo enjoyed plenty of space which is handy when you have a seriously horseshy one like Milo! 69% is a pretty good stab at his first test at the level and he also jumped a really smart clear round in the showjumping in front of dwindling crowds.  Tim had said that the water was tough with a bounce in and a corner in the water to negotiate so he was really pleased when Milo did that pretty effortlessly and bravely.  Just after that was a hanging log which is a bit gappy with a drop on landing and into shade to boot so he just gave Milo a little tap on take off to ensure he jumped out far enough and Milo quite overreacted with the sort of horror now reserved for Victorian beating habits in schools and was so offended that he put in a mighty leap and landed running for his life.  A tad dramatic to say the least.  Typical chestnut, all redhead indignation and around the corner from that was a fairly big corner so Tim did what Tim does and popped in a circle in canter and then jumped the corner beautifully.  Ruffled feathers soothed, Milo continued home and as far as he is concerned he jumped a very smart clear round and was very proud of himself.

Tim was delighted with him.  He said he really bust a gut do do the right thing, he learnt loads out on the Wellington Parkland and came home a true advanced horse.

Happy days.  Its always so cool when they step up a grade and not only cope but actually revel in it.  Wellington is one of the last big one days left, just South of England and Little Downham left now after Cornbury next weekend and with Burghley looming up for the rest of this week it really feels like the start of the Autumn season.