Wow.. Aachen is, quite simply, the greatest show on earth. Where else do you get to mingle with top class dressage and showjumpers, driving horses and genuine proper superstars all within a single showground? It is a total honour to be a part of it and Tom was as always delighted to be part of Team GB at such a top class event.
Toledo de Kerser was spotted number one of the team to go which meant that despite a really super test he suffered the curse of the judges being on the cautious side. This always amazes me as since it is highly unlikely that Valegro or Utopia are ever going to rock up for a spot of CCI dressage I think it is safe to day they could venture above 70 per cent at the start of the class, not least in Aachen when the class is full of amazing horses.
Anyway, moving swiftly on from the desultory 48 they awarded Tom and Toledo for that phase they presented themselves at the showjumping which began at 5.30pm on Friday evening. As the canny Aachen crowds left the arena for a snack as our guys rocked in ( they think 1m 30 is a bit tame when they are used to watching 1m 60) Tom and Toldedo warmed up looking world class. As drama abounded… Shane Rose and his horse on the deck in the warm up, Pippa Funnell and her Billy the Biz on the floor in the arena, Tom and Toledo delivered the amazing clear round despite the lengthening shadows and the rise in pressure as the evening went on.
Cross country day dawned bright and sunny and with a world class field ready to run tensions were high. Tom as number one was early out and the shadows on the open ditch at 4 A were enough to spook Toledo into an awkward jump which although clear, resulted in a total no show as regards looking at the skinny at B. 20 on the card that early would have spooked most riders but Tom put it behind him and galloped the rest of the track like a veteran.
Even with his dressage mark he would have finished top 12… it remains to be seen whether Tom makes the Europeans Squad for Poland or heads for Burghley…
But in the meantime he has Royal Roxey out here for the Ride and Drive competition tonight at 9.30 where he has to jump a track of cross country fences in a team which includes 4 in hand as a sideline…since Roxey took one look at the amian arena last night and had to be persuaded to make an entrance for her lookaround it could be very interesting!