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Blair weekend update

13-September-2015 20:54
in General
by Admin

Cross country day sadly didn't go to plan. As forecast the rain arrived but by the bucket load, and by 3.30pm the going had turned very soft.  Moonie didn't enjoy himself at all and struggled from the start.  It had become very difficult to find any fresh ground, and with the tough hills at the beginning of the course it became clear that we were losing time.  However he is such a brave horse and he jumped brilliantly until the fence after the main arena, where he totally uncharacteristically ran out.  He was still 3 minutes from the finish so I think in reality, even had he jumped it, he did not have enough petrol to get home.  It was very disappointing from so many angles, especially for the team as we watched the Germans get further ahead, and the French closer behind us.

It was certainly a frustrating day for many, and particularly for poor Nicola Wilson who's 20 penalties must have been incredibly painful.  Luckily thanks to fantastic rounds from Kitty King the Pathfinder, and Pippa Funnell, the team still sat in silver medal position after the cross country.

It was ironic that I thought the course was a little on the soft side, because as it turned out with the conditions it was plenty tough enough.  There were only three horses inside the time, and with one fence being removed half way through the day due to the treacherous conditions, it was certainly a true cross country test.

Luckily today the British girls jumped well, and the team won their silver medal.  I was slightly fraudulent as part of that team but that is the name of the game.

We had lovely weather today making yesterday's conditions feel even harsher, but we were all very honoured to have Her Majesty The Queen to present us with our medals, certainly for the first time in my career.  Alec Lochore deserves the credit for managing to persuade her to do that!

It was a little sad that we couldn't have done more to ensure it was a gold medal she was hanging around our necks and not a silver one!  Perhaps next year in Rio we can sort that out.....




© 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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