Whilst the competitors and their connections slept a massive rainstorm unleashed its self upon Salzhausen and everyone awoke to a massively flooded venue. Sarah Bullimore posted a video of a bale of shavings floating past her truck and the whole park was basically submerged. See photos left! (Credit Panda-Sue Photography)
Cue German efficiency. The venue did the most incredible job re routing the water so it didn’t flood the stables, the local fire service was on hand to pump water out of the truck parks and out on course they were also pumping water out of the water jumps which could have quite easily taken the Titanic at one point! They swopped the 4* and 5* classes over to give the 5* the best chance of good ground and moved all the start times forward. It really was incredible and we are so used to so many venues in the UK simply quoting “health and safety issues” and cancelling which made it even more impressive.
The sandy Luhmuhlen soil does help tremendously as well and when the 5* began at 2pm it looked a whole different picture. It seemed like a giant plug had been pulled and suddenly there was sunshine and uber green grass! It also helped that the field had just 33 starters but the footing really did hold up well and when Tom headed out a good 3/4 of the way through the class he was able to put his foot down from the get go.
Fig has really learnt to gallop in the last 12 months and he and Tom were just one of 4 horses and riders to make time all day. The closed circuit showed him over the early fences before dropping him in favour of an American making her European debut which was a shame but everything clearly went to plan. ( And if it didn’t there is no way Tom is going to fess up now!).
They have climbed from 11th to sit in 4th spot. There isn’t a rail between 1st and 2nd ( Tim Price and Alexanda Bragg) who sit on 27.8 and 29.7 and 3rd ( Sarah Bullimore on 32.2) and 4th which is Tom on 32.3. There is still the vetting to go and the showjumping looks like it is going to be very exciting….. when is it not at this level!