Blenheim Saturday

GBR-Tom McEwen rides CHF Cooliser during the Cross Country for the CCI4*-L. SsangYong Blenheim Palace Horse Trials. Saturday 21 September. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography

The sort of perfect day for an eventer like Tom with a huge crowd pouring into the gates of Blenheim Palace, beautiful sunshine, big tracks to jump in both the cross country and and showjumping and two super young horses to do it on.

CHF Cooliser ( Eliza) is just 9 years old and wasn’t actually backed until her 5 year old year.  She has produced the goods steadily throughout her career and she and Tom have a great partnership which is built on trust and understanding  each other.  As they set out on the course they looked pretty impressive on our screen in the canteen and they zipped through all the difficult combinations with ease.

The cameras seemed to be on a budget operation as they were few and far between and much of the track was not available for viewing.  They also seemed to be operated by a random volunteer outfit as it wasn’t Oscar winning viewing by any chance.  We only discovered after Tom had finished what looked like a foot perfect round that he had actually done a bit of Cossack style riding out the back! The big fence at the top of the hill preceding the second water crossing was just that, a big fence, but when Tom decided to just let Eliza find her own balance to it she came up out of his hands a whole stride early and that signalled a pretty uncomfortable landing.  Tom found himself hanging down Eliza’s side below her neck and in typical understated Tom way, simply said ” I only stayed on because she spooked and propped halfway down the hill and that popped me back into the saddle!”.  It is quite sad for us to have missed the moment but at least we know that Eliza has a second career now if she ever fancies doing the trick pony circuit with Russian riders on board.

They added just 6 time to move up into the top 30 with the showjumping tomorrow.  Meanwhile Dreamaway ( Dreamy) got hacked up to the main arena in the late afternoon sunshine for his showjumping session over a tough and technical track.  The crowds stayed on so there was a big atmosphere but the lovely grey never looked like touching a pole and a smart clear round elevated them from 10th into 4th spot in a very competitive class.

Dreamy goes cross country tomorrow morning and Eliza gets her spin in the main arena tomorrow afternoon. It has been a super week so far and fingers crossed that we have Tom on a podium tomorrow!

GBR-Tom McEwen rides Dreamaway II during the Show Jumping for the CCI4*-S *8/9YO. Interim-4th. SsangYong Blenheim Palace Horse Trials. Saturday 21 September. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography