Photo credit Pam and Charles Cunningham from https://irisheventingtimes.com
Tom has Fred and Penny Barker’s lovely 6 year old MHS Brown Jack out at the World Young Horse Championships at Le Lion d’Angers. It is always exciting to have a horse good enough for Le Lion, it is not for every youngster and I am sure many Burghley and Badminton stars of the future are not flashy enough at 6 or 7 to go down this route. But it is also a proven pathway for international acclaim as well, Toledo de Kerser himself went very well here as a young horse and Jack has certainly learnt his right to be here after an incredible half season that has been eventing in 2020. He has not been out of the top 5 anywhere, he won his first 2S at Wellington and was 3rd at a tough and very grown up 3S at Cornbury and he looked a picture at the jog which is traditionally held in the lovely old stable complex.
Much was made of the bog that the main arena turned into in 2019 ( we really did have so little to worry about back in the day!) and Le Lion responded rapidly by building an impressive all weather arena for 2020. It is things like this that put Le Lion and many of the events in Europe on the world stage, they get a criticism and they react with a fast and much appreciated move to ensure the future of the event.
Jack and Tom went yesterday ( Thursday morning) and took the lead with a very smart 26.6. By conclusion of the 6 year olds today Tom not only still holds the lead but by a whopping 4.1 points which actually gives him a showjumping rail in hand! It is quite the achievement and a cracking way to go into cross country day tomorrow which will be weird without the usual enormous crowd that love to attend.
I hear rumours also that there is no coffee van on site which is a tragedy as drinking strong French coffee in the early morning mist of the Loire valley is as much apart of Lion as enjoying the pasta at Madonna’s restaurant is.