Tom appears confused how how a bridle comes undone as he has to do the confirmation section with Shannondale Aero.
Being on the wrong side of the Park with 4 rides for the young event horse class was not really the way Tom had planned to spend Burghley 2019 and as he said, it wasn’t doing much to improve his temper!
However, being the professional that Tom is and despite the hideously early departure time he rode into the ring on MHS Pop Star (Jack) looking as if he was delighted to be there. Jack is a very big imposing horse and judging by his attitude if he doesn’t make it as an eventer a career in the police force could beckon as I don’t think I have ever seen anything braver! The flapping flags, the crowds, the gusty wind.. the bright and big enough show jumps and the tough enough little cross country fence section were all negotiated without a hint of a spook. Job done.
Next up was Shannondale Aero and he is a cute young horse with plenty of ability. He has already won a BE100 and it was him that the judges gave the nod to to make the final.
In another act of rashly regretted kindness Tom was also riding Dani Evans’ Unique Van de Hoeeneg Z who was bred in Belgium hence the nearly unpronounceable name. Dani is recuperating after breaking her collar bone and Tom did yet another of his brilliant catch ride jobs by not only beating both of his own rides but also getting it through to the final.
Now having two horses though to the final posed another problem as the final 10 go in at once. Tom was up on Aero and apparently Dani was persuaded that rehab was over and she could do the gallop on her own pony!
And in a final act of humiliation Dani then beat Tom in front of the enthusiastic crowd that always gathers for this ever more popular class! Dani was 4th whilst Tom and Aero ended up in 9th and whilst Tom may still be casting envious glances in the direction of the main arena he did a great job in giving three 5 year olds a really great experience…. hopefully they will be back in a few years time!