A day of CI3*S for Tom with three to showjumping and go cross country in two full sections. The main arena was running all day with showjumping and the cross country was still running strong at 6.30pm. Great weather and a testing track made for good viewing on one of the best spectator venues in the whole country with pretty much every single fence in sight.
The showjumping was technical, up to height and is always a grown up track that educates the horses and also gives a feel of a real international arena with the crowds and flags. Testament to Tom and the ability of his horses that Dreamaway ( Dreamer), Dream Big ( Dreamy) and CHF Cooliser ( Eliza) all jumped immaculate clear rounds which elevated them up the rankings as there were precious few of them throughout the day!
The cross country was challenging enough with a particularly tough brush corner at fence 8 which was off a turn, heading away from home and between the Owl Hole on the mound on the left and the bank of spectators on the right, all of which provided a distraction! The track then climbed up the hills and switched back and forth across the side of the valley incorporating the quarry, the iconic Stonehenge and other Barbury trade mark fences.
First to head out was Dreamy who simply loves a challenge like this. She was one of the quickest of the day just adding 0.4 of a time penalty to her dressage score of 39 to soar up through the board to eventual 11th. She really is a cross country machine and comes to the fore on a tough hilly run.
Dreamy is another “one off” cross country with his huge stride and effortless scope. There were enough questions for him after his uncharacteristic handbrake stop at Tattersalls but everything looked supremely easy and despite Tom not going for time they still only picked up 4.4 to move up to 7th place.
Eliza also added to the tally of double clears but Tom schooled her round picking up some 20 time as she heads out to Jardy for the ERM next weekend.
All in all another successful weekend and happy horses, owners and rider. Congratulations to Tristar eventing for rejuvenating Barbury and giving it back its unique vibe and we all love having an event like that on the doorstep!