The show jumping course looked deliberately difficult, perhaps because of the perfect weather and ground conditions yesterday and today. First in Emily Lochore had a complete nightmare, the sensitive Hexmaley’s Hayday suddenly trying to stop at the white gate going back towards the entrance, sliding through it and demolishing it, then slipping over onto his side, decanting her in the process, and ending their dream of completing.
Abigail Boulton managed just one down with Tilston Tic Toc, as did Louise Harwood, although a slight difference of opinion at one point with Mr Potts nearly unseated her!
Austin O’Connor was the first to go clear, with Morning Venture. The very popular Simon Grieve and Cornacrew (‘Boz’ to his friends) dragged one down behind in a very carefully ridden round, the horse really trying. The time does not look tight, as they were not motoring on but did not incur time penalties.
e-Venting Blogger Charlotte Brear and Manor Missile had fence 2 down in front, but then he started trying harder and that was their only fault. They earned a huge round of applause from the appreciative crowd, as a true one-horse amateur and her part-Shire.
Nana Dalton was the first to manage a double clear, followed immediately by Kerry Varley, and Ros Canter had just 1 SJ time penalty.
Paul Tapner secured a clear from his lovely mare Vanir Kamira, whose momentary blip at Discovery Valley yesterday has proven very expensive, but this is her first 4* so she is a hugely promising talent for the future. Ditto Sam Griffiths and Happy Times, who had his sole problem at the same fence, and secured a clear SJ.
The diminutive Perfick Miss Amber, who pinged around the XC course yesterday, just had one down.
Colleen Rutledge’s double clear with Covert Rights will have put a big smile on American supporters’ faces, and she is at the top of the Leaderboard going into the lunch break, before the final 28 jump, starting at 2.30pm.