|Piggy French, Tracie Robinson and Jakata at the trot up|
Yes, all three......not all 5....... Not the best day we have had at the office yesterday but we are still in Team Silver and William is in 6th, 6.7 penalties off a medal.
So back to yesterday: Friday night and the weather gods unleashed hell.....rain, lightning and thunder: The Main Arena, trade stands and stables flooded (but not the GBR stables thanks to Brendan Murray spending Friday digging for victory – his Army training in trench digging came in handy). The German fire brigade spent a number of hours pumping water from where it should not be to where it could be. Saturday dawned....and the rain kept falling. I can report that the Toggi waterproof jackets....are definitely waterproof!
Nicola Wilson and Opposition Buzz....sublime...inside the time; job done. Watching the first rotation of Team riders we thought that it would be a bit of a race against the clock – the course did cause trouble as the day progressed with a number of falls and a few run-outs (were people riding hard to get the time as it was clear that that was what was needed?????).
Piggy had a great ride – she just struggled a little to keep up the pace but completed with a solid round; clear and 6 time faults. Unfortunately for Laura Collett, Rayef was not really “on form” and she was having to work hard from the very beginning of the course: This was very uncharacteristic for this horse who has been so reliable across the country: Refusals are not normally in Rayef’s vocabulary but yesterday was not a vintage day and Laura did not complete. A full work up will be done on the horse to check he is ok.
Then William! Wow.......comments were going around such as; as “balls of steel”, stickability, one of the worlds best. Clear inside the time........and that included a submarine moment at the second water (Cool Mountain head went under the water) and a near disaster at the third last (going the straight route which few had done). This was the ride of a champion and exactly what you need when you are fighting hard for a medal.
So not a great day but the Brits fought and fought hard. We are still in Team Silver and that ain’t bad. For those that thought the Brits were favourites coming in to Luhmühlen, have a look at the German scores – we always knew that it was going to be very, very difficult to beat them and realistically they would have to loose the Team Gold rather than us win it.
The Jumping is about to start and all are saying it is a very difficult track – so there is all to play for......
And Rotterdam??? An exemplary performance by our Jumping Team who jumped off against the Germans in the Nations Cup..... As seems the way this week....the Germans won! But it was a great performance especially from Ben Maher who jumped double clear.
Now the nerves begin to jangle as we build up to the culmination of the Eventing Europeans....