As the social media world woke up to the shattering news that Tom and Toledo de Kerser will not be competing at the European Championships in Luhmuhlen Tom was already en route to Wellington Horse Trials with 2 advanced horses and one intermediate.
Toledo will be fine.. just not by Wednesday for a jog having travelled to Luhmuhlen in Germany. Incidents and accidents happen all the time with horses and this is simply a case of extra-ordinary bad timing!
So what does an event rider do when faced with a free day… well, he goes eventing of course. And, being an eventer like Tom, he makes it count! Bob Chaplin ( Bob) is slowly coming back to the fitness level required and today saw Tom easing off the handbrake for a 30.7 finish on his dressage score for 5th in his OI section.
Lordships Graffalo is still with Tom as Ros Canter slowly continues her way back into competing and a very competitive 29.3 finishing score left them in 3rd in their section of the OI classes.
Not to be outdone Brookfield Benjamin Bounce scored a 25 in his intermediate section, added a rail and finished just 2 seconds over time to add another 3rd to the tally.
So what do we say.. apart from congrats to Pippa Funnell who steps in. Look at it which ever way you want but Tom and Toledo have, as Jonelle Price put it on the ERM commentary at Millstreet, been knocking on the door for a big win for the last 12 to 24 months. They should have won Badminton this year but were scuppered by incorrect starting info, they have had a rubbish build up to the Euros with the SJ at Hartpury being moved indoors and the cancellation of Somerford but despite all of that they were still on track. Sometimes these things are sent to try us but maybe the glow of a Gold Medal in Tokyo is where this story is headed.
Let’s look at this this way. Toledo has had a minor setback. Tom is fine. It could be so much worse!