Having run novices at Dauntsey earlier in the week it was all systems go for Team McEwen at Aston le Walls with 9 horses for Tom to compete. We still have our amazing heatwave and I did see Tom looking fairly pink faced as he warmed up for an advanced test in his tailcoat…not really ideal attire when its 30 degrees!
The intermediates started off the weekend in fine style with one of Tom’s favorites, Braveheart B ( Dougie) scoring a 30, just tipping a rail before a steady clear cross country. Dream Big ( Dreamy) also stepped up with a 34 before being one of many to find Aston’s showjumping tough enough and added 8 faults. She is a bit of a cross country specialist though and she really enjoyed her spin to wind up in the top 15. The team at Aston must have put literally thousands of litres of water on the track so the footing was as good as it possibly could be and the best going on grass the horses have seen for a while. So when Dreamaway ( Dreamer) did a very good test for a 27, just added 4 faults showjumping Tom decided to let him run and came home under time to win his section. Dreamer has been quite the star this season and this is his third win with two seconds as well at CIC and CCI 1 star level and he sure has a bright future ahead of him.
CHF Cooliser ( Eliza) has been with Tom a bit longer and has always been a banker but she backed up her win at Upton with another solid win at Aston adding just 1.2 time to her 29 dressage. These two wins have taken her well into advanced points and at just 8 years old she is also ticking all the boxes for an international career.
I am not quite sure how Nasdaq High ( Bodie) ended up in an OI section as at just 7 and with 25 points on his card he was batting well above his average! He scored a 34 which was more than acceptable for his age and stage, added just 6 in the showjumping and went steadily cross country. The Magician ( Mars) fared better in his intermediate section with a 35, a rail and a speedy cross country for 6 time to sit in 4th place.
Then it was onto the advanced horses and it looked like Aston was running an unofficial WEG trial as the section was littered with Team GB longlisted horses and the test was the 4 star B test. The showjumping was also pretty beefed up with a tight time so it was one of the more influential phases across the board. Tom had three beautiful advanced horses to ride with Figaro van het Broekxhof ( Fig), Strike Smartly ( Paddy) and Toledo de Kerser.
Fig and Paddy were not far apart on the flat, scoring 34 and 35 while Toledo pointed his toes for a 28. Fig made the time in the showjumping but rattled a couple for 8 faults whilst Paddy and Toledo jumped clear. Toledo did pick up a time fault but I would imagine that he spent more time in the air than most of the class! All three went well cross country with Fig sitting inside the top 20 with 16 time, Toledo a steady 20 time for 11th and speedy Paddy picked up just 2.4 time for third place.
So a very successful Aston for Tom and his crew and the results show that he really does have a solid team of established and up and coming horses to event. The show rolls on with a packed schedule throughout August and of course we have Royal Roxey’s Hickstead Eventers Derby on Thursday.
You can follow all the action from the main arena live and free at Hickstead TV.