With an enforced break from eventing completed (which was driven by some keyboard warriors and some ridiculous covid panic) it was back to business with a bang at Wellington as Tom rode 8 horses over 4 days with the highlight being an emphatic win for MHS Brown Jack in a huge 2*S field.
Fred and Penny Barker’s rising stable star has not been out of the top 5 in all his runs since sport resumed in July. He added nothing to his 24.2 dressage and sometimes I think it is harder to win these low level short formats with a genuine youngster than it is to win an advanced!
Hot on his heels for glory at the weekend was Coillbri de Riverland who managed the runner up slot in the 3*S with a dressage score of 28.8 which he also completed on. Piggy March won with the very experienced Dragon so it was definitely an honourable defeat!
CHF Cooliser ( Eliza) made the top 10 in her busy advanced section with a 33 dressage and double clear with 7 time good enough for 7th. Braveheart B ( Dougie) also managed a top 10 placing in his advanced section despite a rail in the showjumping with a nice test and a very competent cross country round for 12 time.
Dream Big ( Dreamy) ran in the OI and her TB breeding failed to impress the judges for a mediocre 35 but Dreamy is never really one to shine at these one days, she comes into her own at the hilly tracks like Gatcombe and Scotland! It was a nice run for her on good ground for late August. Brookfield Benjamin Bounce (Bounce) also skipped around the OI for 9th with a 29 dressage and a double clear.
Tuesday saw the novices have a crack at Wellington and it was the turn of Brookfield Carnival ( Ted) and Brookfield Bravelheart (Luke) to set off down the M4 for Tom’s 4th day in a row. Luke was aiming for his first novice whilst Ted has a couple under his belt and they both went well on the flat with Luke scoring a 25 and ted a 29. The showjumping was grown up enough but they both jumped lovely clear rounds before they set out to tackle what is actually a fairly grown up novice.
And that is where the day went slightly pear shaped. Luke discovered it a tougher test than he anticipated and picked up some 60 jumping whilst Ted didn’t actually make it home. I am not entirely sure what happened as Tom’s quote was “they were going really well until we went splat” which is at least honest if not descriptive!
As he also said, “One of those days”. It’s a learning curve for sure and they were not the only ones to come home with a bit of homework.