Overnight leader of the Ariat 90cm class at the H&H Festival of Eventing, Charlotte Cooke, said she was disappointed to see her top pony Iceford Jigsaw drop from the top spot but is thrilled “baby” Theo has stepped up in his place.
Twelve-year-old Charlotte picked up 20 jumping penalties on ‘Ice’ after an uncharacteristic stop at fence eight, the step, but used the experience wisely to move up to pole-position with second pony, Liscannor Tulira (Theo), who moves up from third place on a dressage of 28.25.
Charlotte told H&H: “Ice was really good but I was a bit disappointed to have the stop, he’s usually a cross-country machine. I think we maybe came down a bit fast and he wasn’t prepared for the next jump – but he was fine on the second approach. There’s always another day and the showjumping can change everything.
“The baby is now in first. He was way really quick but I had my watch on and left him to it.”
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Charlotte said she approached the step differently with Theo after her earlier stop with Ice.
“I put my whip in my other hand and took a wider line. I probably should have had my whip in my other hand with Ice and because it’s in the open you don’t know which way they’re going to go,” she said.
“The course was nice, I liked that there were two waters which tested us a little bit and made the ponies slow down.”
'She loves water so it never worries me – she speeds up for it'
Charlotte has stormed into first and third place, while her mum, Claire lies in eight
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Charlotte will be fending off Tracey Houston who remains in second place with Pallasgreen Promise. Tracey jumped clear picking up 1.6 too-fast time penalties to finish on 28.35, giving Charlotte a lead of just 0.10 penalties. Claire Cooke, Charlotte’s mum, moved into fifth place from eighth after a clear round on Tarbert Hill.
Charlotte said she is “excited” for the showjumping tomorrow (27 May)
“Both ponies should be fine, but hopefully Theo doesn’t get too excited,” said Charlotte.
Don’t miss the full report from the H&H Festival of Eventing in Horse & Hound magazine — on sale Thursday, 6 June