Tatts – Cross Country Day

Bill Levett It’s been a long day at Tatts today and I’m very grateful to my extended (thanks owners, grooms, family) Team Levett helpers for sticking with it and all helping me get the job done.

The day started bright and early with Silver doing the one star – it was a big ask for her as she is not yet established at intermediate level. However she rose to the occasion, really concentrating, and came home clear inside the time – I was thrilled with her. She will come on a lot from the run, both physically and mentally – which was the whole purpose of the trip; to give her an educational experience. The bigger plan for 2013 remains Le Lion at the end of the year if all goes well.

After Silver I had time to regroup and rewalk the three star track ahead of Womble. I thought Ian Stark had built a good track – fair but it wasn’t a gimmee, it required positive forward committed riding. There were plenty of forward distances early on and big ditches, and then some more ‘closed’ related lines and technical questions at the back end of the course.

Womble got a bit ditchy early on at fence 7 where there was a smaller version (but not that much smaller!) of the Badminton vicarage vee. Womble had a look in the bottom and I had to sit tight. He then went green on me for half a dozen fences as the ditches came thick and fast in the combinations that followed. However with positive riding he stuck with me, grew in confidence and was back on song by the back end of the track. Unfortunately I got held for 15 minutes 3 from home which wasn’t fun, especially as it was just before the last water but I just cracked on and got on with it.

Womble came home full of gallop and was clear inside the time. The brakes need more work and are still not sorted, and he was a little green but he is only 9 and will come on a lot from the run. He has a great gallop and engine, reminds me of beloved Charlie (Time Will Tell) who I owe a lot to in my earlier career.

Finally it was Alex’s turn in the 2star and sadly my run of good luck ran out. Alex was travelling really well when he fell in the water at fence 5. There wasn’t a fence in sight and there were many fallers earlier in the day at the same location. I purposefully came back to trot given the trouble earlier in the day and he fell as we took our second stride in the water – gutting.

Both Alex and I are fine, just wet, but it is all very boring as after the cancellation of Le Lion after dressage last year and now this I feel very bad for Alex and his owners. We will have to regroup and find another two star run in due course.

A dull end to what has been a good day – typical ups and downs of horses.



Posted 1st June

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