It looked a bit misty and murky on the (terrible!) livestream of the 4*S XC early this morning but the sun soon came out and in between trying to guess which person was transmitting live from their mobiles (lots of views of the warm up, lots of spinning and up close grass shots) and then some drone shots which were pretty random! But we got the gist of it and were very grateful for the pictures.
Tom and Figaro van het Broekxhof ( Fig) set off looking great and they survived the water complex at 9ABC which claimed a few notable scalps ( the skinny at C was set on an upward slope and it wasn’t the most obvious line to it) they got as far as 15ABC before, as Tom put it, Fig didn’t really like the look of the corner so he did a drive by. Funnily enough his near neighbour at Gatcombe, Zara Tindall, also had a 20 there with Class Affair but the Brits made it onto the podium for 3rd spot in the Nations Cup down to the fact that Zara was the drop score and David Doel scarpered round to make time whilst even younger Richard Coney also only added a few seconds and that really helped. The Brits were also one of the few to muster a 4 man team which helped enormously and add to that the fact that we all know that Class Affair is as mad as a cut snake and no one else but Zara would ride him and you have to take your hat off to a team that made the podium with two stops cross country!
CHF Cooliser ( Eliza) was awesome cross country and Tom gave her a peach of a ride with just 8.4 time. Yard pet Braveheart B ( Dougie) was carrying a couple of poles on his score but he also was brilliant for a clear round a decent track and picked up 14 time.
Dreamaway ( Dreamer) was hampered by his less than generous mark in the dressage but luckily he didn’t know that and he did his job by finishing on it. The 29.8 left him just 1.8 adrift of Tim Price and Happy Boy ( who won) and that meant 4th spot in a hot section full of seriously classy horses.
Coilibri de Riverland just added 4 time for a very professional end to his 3*S and another box ticked for this exciting young horse. The experience they gain at venues like Haras is simply invaluable.
So the McEwen crew finally got to go to an international and with some good runs under their belt ready to kick on towards whatever the rest of 2020 holds in store for us.