A mini break for Tom out in Lignieres with just two horses for the CI3*L and whilst the week started in sunshine it ended with somewhat miserable weather with what looked like rain and pretty cool and breezy conditions!
Tom and Bob Chaplin scored a very competitive 29.5 in the dressage for 10th spot but with 5* superstars Fischerrocana and Wesko with Michi Jung and Tim Price dominating the lead with scores bordering the teens it was a game of two halves. There were three 5 star winners leading the test and then a bunch of up and coming horses and Bob did well to score as high as he did in that company. Dream Big ( Dreamy) put her best thoroughbred foot forward to score a very credible 32.2 for 26th spot in a huge class which was a complete mixture of experience and youngsters which is so often the way in Europe as they simply don’t have the week in week out opportunities to run at OI level like we do in the UK.
Cross country day seemed fast and furious but the sunshine was beginning to dwindle and with both Bob and Dreamy doing superb rounds to come home under time Tom was climbing the leaderboard. Both horses, to their and the jockeys credit, finished clean under time so it was job done on Saturday night with just the jog and the showjumping to go on Sunday.
Sunday morning dawned cool and wet and as the ERM showjumping got underway Tom appeared in the commentary looking quite literally as though he had just stepped out of bed. Maybe it was the headphones and maybe I am being unfair but it was definitely a chilled out style with a ruffled hairdo and no sponsors clothes on show! Tom then more than made up for it with a very insightful commentary on the track and the competitors although it was marred by the actual fact that Tom did, live on air, utter the words “whoops a daisy”.
Political and statistical suicide that. Thank God Tom has a girlfriend as otherwise he could be out in the desert for a while!
Back to the business end this afternoon and a solid result for the Barkers Bob Chaplin who finished in 4th spot with a double clear behind two five star winners in Wesko and Romantic Love. Dreamy had an uncharacteristic 8 faults but she still finished inside the top 20 with an MER to take forward to 2020.
It seems odd to be talking about 2020 but in reality it is all about Tokyo now and Tom heads out to Pau with Toledo and Fig with that very much in mind. Its not quite over yet…watch this space for the last blast of the season still yet to come!