Monday 25 April 2011

The Money On Todd & My Heart On Archie

Mary King & 'Archie'
We rose very early this morning to beat the queues and yes we managed it! With the offer of Breakfast in the Horse Trials Support Group marquee we declined the amazing catering from our hotel The Meuthen Arms in Corsham just 20 minutes away from the event. Which is incidently is run by an Eventing family - The Stills and has been completely revamped this year, it’s such a small world this horse world!

It felt like the first day of the sales fighting our way through the crowds when we arrived and it was still only 8.00am in the morning, are we mad?....YES we couldn’t miss a moment. I had coffee with the owners of Imperial Cavalier mid morning in front of the scoreboard which was heaving and although he’s such a well established horse it’s still a nerve wracking experience for them to go through and the thoughts of yesterdays dressage marks had been I always say it’s not just a dressage competition and it’s not over till it’s over. It was also here I was wondering why the Badminton world was looking a little blurry, I thought it was perhaps the wine from the previous evening but no I’d just put my contact lenses in the wrong eyes in my haste to get to Badminton!!

By 12 noon we were back at my HTSG station, I had my start list, my contact lenses sorted, plenty of toys to entertain Lily (my daughter) and a chair directly infront of a TV screen, .....I was Ready!! Andrew Nicholson gave us an exemplary display of horsemanship on Avebury that set the cross country ball rolling, but was it too easy? Was the time easy to get?... it was hard to say he’s such an Eventing wizard.....

I’ve tried to remember now my brain is horse mushed and has watched all 84 horses go cross country which ones were the performances of the day for me....Harry Meade was impressive on Wild Lone, Flora Harris on Law Choice were fabulous around their first Badminton, Piggy was amazing, as was Nicola on Opposition Buzz, & Lenamore.... say no more!!.

My adrenalin kicked in as Archie (Imperial Cavalier – who we found for the owners) looked like he was turning into a raging charger in the start box and my heart started pumping out of my chest, ridiculous I know, I’ve never even sat on him!! Mary looked like she had contained his enthusiasm by the time he jumped the Outlander Bank. She gave us a ‘Mary’ moment at the lake but he’s so scopey he just powered on through and he was class all the way round. He’s creeping up the leaderboard and has all to play for tomorrow...come on Archie!!

I’m not forgetting Todds performance which was fabulous, we’d discussed him in Compiegne a fortnight ago and he said he was looking forward to Badminton with him, I’m not surprised he was awesome. And also Marina on Calma Schelly, the mare was class. Both these horses I always follow with great interest from an Uptown Eventing point of view. Landvision was a horse we were approached to sell by dressage rider Dan Henson who owned him when he was a Novice and I just couldn’t get anyone to go and look at him....silly them eh? Then Oliver Townend snapped him up and the rest is history..... But also our contact in Germany told us about Calma Schelly when she was just a two star horse, we sent a British four star rider to try him, they liked him and made an offer which wasn’t just quite enough but now perhaps he might be wishing he’d have dug a bit deeper!! Incidently she was taken off the market yonks ago. So peeps do listen when I spot a horse that I think might be a top one!!

And so to tomorrow..... it’s nailbiting stuff just one fence between the top 12 horses is’s a lottery between them all. My money is and has been on Toddy....and yes I’ve found him a horse too. If he wins now wouldn’t that would be some story eh?

The alarm is set super silly early...there’s so much more excitement to come.....

Rachel Wakefield

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