The sun has most definitely departed for the Southern Hemisphere and the first of the autumn events signalled that the balmy days of summer are well and truly over. Soggy Dauntsey replaced the Superhot Dauntsey of the summer when we basked in 35 degrees and our attire was startlingly different.
Tom appeared for each phase in whatever dry coat he could find in the truck and it could only be described as a truly long wet day. Beanie Sturgess kept an eye on the river levels as the water crossings became a bit swifter and we all felt so sorry for her amazing team who had gone to such efforts to run this event and were seeing it deteriorate before their eyes. Friday was pro day with novices and intermediates but even so there were plenty doing the walk of shame back from the jumping phases.
Tom had four intermediates of varying experience and Something Extra (Sonny) kicked the day off with a 30 dressage before finding the going in the showjumping not so much to his liking and picked up 8 faults. Tom is pretty good at reading his horses and he decided that Sonny didn’t have to prove himself cross country in the late afternoon when it was starting to ride quite deep and he returned to the truck, happy to stand inside and hear the rain drumming on the roof.
Dream Big (Dreamy) is a tough bird who always comes out fighting when the going gets tough. She jumped a double clear and looked as if she had no idea what the others were struggling with and her workman like attitude shone through.
Royal Spring was contesting just his second intermediate so it was quite the deal for him! He is a big chap at 17hh and at 7 is only just really maturing into his frame. He scored a credible 29, picked up just 4 jumping and came home from the cross country with a 20 and some time but the important thing is he made it home and learnt allot from the experience. The fact that he still finished 14th shows what a good effort it was!
Spring Morning really was dropped into the deep end with this being his first intermediate. He is a year older than his stablemate though and has been placed inside the top 10 everywhere this season but he did exceed all expectations with a 30 dressage and a double clear adding just 6 time for the runner up slot. Quite the feat in a day when some 5 star horses walked home.
As the trucks filed out of the slurpy mud of the parking lot and headed for home the decision was taken to cancel Saturday’s competition with the hope being Sunday maybe saved. The team there will do everything they can but this has been rain in Biblical proportions so I am not sure how much hope is left!
Tom just has one more one day in the UK, on the peaty soil of Little Downham which can take any amount of the wet stuff before he heads to France for a few weeks and hopefully some better weather.