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Blenheim - round up

22-September-2019 19:19
in General
by Admin

Georgisaurous did his dressage on Friday and it was the first time he was doing the 4* short test.  He went really well and I was delighted with the test.  There will of course need to be some improvement as he only got 29.8 which was a bit disappointing, but very much had him in the hunt in 4th place.  I can confidently say that in the future he will be in the low 20’s which is very exciting.  His judging was a bit boring as he seemed to get a lot of 7’s for whatever he did, but that happens sometimes.  The show jumping course in the main arena was certainly a big deal for him.  It would have been the biggest atmosphere that he will have met in his career so far, and I was quite concerned that he would be on his spooky toes.  However, I need not have been concerned in any way, he jumped an outstanding clear, probably the best round he has jumped this season, and ironically his clear round (which put him in the lead) had not even been considered.  After a lot of course walking and chatting to Tara and Pep, we sadly decided not to run him cross country.  They had worked hard on the ground but it was certainly not soft, it had rained a little bit but not enough, and we decided that he has some more important days to look forward to next season.  I would not have run him fast anyway so he would never have been in the prizes, and we just decided to save him.  That was obviously very disappointing and it is not often that you withdraw from a big class like that when you are in pole position.  It was great for Chris Burton to win, but he is not someone that gets many time faults and he left everyone standing.   


First off on Saturday was Atlantic Vital Spark’s cross country, and what a fantastic round he gave me.  He could not have gone better, he coped really well with all the questions and didn’t seem to get tired at all.  Annoyingly I got 2.8 time faults, but that was my fault.  We were well up on the clock at 7 minutes and I probably just relaxed a bit, and the couple of twists in the woods slowed me down more than I anticipated.  We still managed to move up into 10th place which was very respectable and quite amazing considering what good company he was in and how relatively lacking in experience he is.  He came out of everything very well and wasn’t tired at all, and jumped brilliantly today.  We had one silly fence down which was annoyingly expensive, but I was delighted with his round.  I also got a time fault which is surprising as I thought I was going flat out.  He moved down a few places but he still finished in the money, in a very respectable place, and he is all set to go.....AND he now has his Tokyo Olympic qualification.  


The Blenheim team had worked endlessly on producing good conditions and they probably couldn’t have made the ground any better, it was still obviously firm but it was not stinging and the horses ran well.  However it was interesting to note that 12 horses were held at the vet trot-up today. Although only one failed from that, it is quite a high proportion and probably meant that a few were just stinging a little bit.  


I thought the course rode really well.  It was very inviting, but it was perhaps a little lacking in variety as there were at least five combinations turning on four or five stride lines to corners or skinnies.  Once the horse had learned that trick it was slightly ‘job done’.  On the up side they certainly learned a lot, and although next time out you won’t be ready for Burghley, you will be ready for the next step.  


Lexi had a really pleasing weekend overall.  And completed her first ever 4*L really well.  She can really build on that for next season. Chico’s Man has certainly answered all the questions we have asked of him this year.  He coped really well with the course and next year I am sure there will be a big win somewhere.  


Kazu covered himself in glory again. He did a lovely dressage to lie right up there on 25.  He flew around the cross country to move up into 2nd and stayed there with a lovely clear show jumping.  He finished 0.2 behind Piggy, which is rather too close for comfort. As I said to him we can dream on, if only he had managed to do one of his three halts in the dressage well.....  but that is the name of the game.

Great photos of Atlantic Vital Spark Show jumping from William Carey Photography




© 2013 William Fox-Pitt. Photos copyright of William Murray in partnership with Fox-Pitt Eventing. With contributions from Kit Houghton, Fiona Scott-Maxwell, Julia Shearwood, Gavin Hudspith, Ian Loveland & Adam Fanthorpe.

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