Barbury Castle ( Sunday)

Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography

Three advanced horses and two smart intermediate rides for Tom McEwen today and with the sun shining Barbary was picture perfect with the backdrop of the rolling valley making the venue look Hollywood Good.

CHF Coolizer ( Eliza) was particularly happy to be out and about again and danced around her dressage arena for a 33. She then had a girly strop due to over excitement in the middle of the showjumping and decided she knew the route better than Tom.  Tom mildly disagreed and attempted to turn the correct way and then Eliza threw her toys out of the pram in a fit of embarrassment which left her with several time faults on her card and a “could do better” walk of shame back to the truck.  Tempers were restored after she had properly blown the cobwebs away with a fun ride up and down the valley and all was good in Eliza’s world again.

Bob Chaplin viewed Eliza’s activities as way beneath him and he scored a very smart 25 on the flat, jumped an immaculate clear and added just 8 time for 2nd place in the OI. Coilbri de Riverland (Coilbri) and Cassiana de Riverland ( Cassey) have come up through the grades together and they are both super talented. At 8 years old they are really getting ready to step up and they showed their class today with two double clears which left Coilbri with the win and Cassey in 3rd in their hotly contested section.

Toledo de Kerser, the grand old man of the yard ( although he is only just 13!) had his first start since he won Pau 5 star in October. The standard 75% dressage score, the beautiful clear round showjumping and in accord with his status, the cross country by the scenic route meant he was never going to trouble the leaders in his section.  In fact Tom went so slowly that he more than doubled his winning score in Pau!  I thought he may get lapped at one point which was going to be tricky given the social distancing rules in place but Toledo enjoyed his school round and I don’t think he broke a sweat.

After the three day marathon of eventing I think it’s safe to say everyone was happy to get to the end of Sunday and full credit to the teams at Barbury and Tweseldown for their efforts.  Full marks to Tom’s back up team as well… it takes a village!