The team got home from Le Pin au Haras in the early hours of Monday morning and it was back to work to ride the WWEC and the Frickley horses (who compete on Friday).
Monday afternoon saw some drizzle in the forecast which wasn’t enough to make much of a difference to WWEC today but it was the perfect way to break through the top level of dust and pave the way for the heavier rain forecast tonight. Cornwall has been beset by thunderstorms and flash floods to end the heatwave but in Wiltshire it has all been very genteel to be fair!
Jonelle just had Dromgurrihy Gold ( Dara) in the novice and Tim had The Highlander (Ivar) in the 100 and Volani ( Arnie ) in the novice as a late addition. This time last year Dara had one of his first starts at BE in the 100 and he has come a very long way since then as he is now pretty established at novice at just 6 years old. The dressage marking was very odd as both of the novice sections ran really high scores so I can only assume that the judges have just come of a ‘fresher’ judging course and are busy looking for ‘engagement, rhythm, contact, suppleness and straightness…oh, and don’t forget harmony’ when in fact 17 hands of Dara is trying to stay upright on rock hard ground with no grass cover in a 20 x 40. Ditto Arnie!
Dara pulled out all the stops to just tip a pole in the notoriously difficult jumping at WWEC whilst Arnie picked up 8 faults. It’s a lovey big all weather but around 1/3 of it is cordoned off as the warm up and the other side is bordered by the cross country so it ends up a ring that requires the jump of Milton and the concentration of the Dalai Lama. Neither Arnie or Dara possess that quality just yet so no worries on that score.
They both ran cross country clear around a track that varies from easy to hard to nigh impossible-to-turn-to-that-skinny-after-the-massive-hedge and what it lacks in rolling hills and vistas of the plains with a mountain backdrop it makes up for in terms of educational tracks and closeness to McDonalds. Job done.
Ivar fared a similar fate.. he won last time out and this time was 6th but he has learnt a hell of allot! He again went double clear and his 39 dressage can only be explained by the fact that the piaffe/passage and one times are not quite up to speed for the BE 100 judges. And nor anyone else in his section!
Baby horses ticked off and now onto Frickley on Friday which is unavoidable as its the only Intermediate /OI running this weekend so Yorkshire it is!