‘It clears his mind’: team-chasing proves the key to ‘grumpy’ grand prix-winning horse

  • Joe Trunkfield and Grennanstown Sarco Luxhill secured victory in the feature grand prix on Sunday (6 November) at Arena UK’s hastily rescheduled Winter Classic showjumping show – taken on at short notice after Keysoe’s cancellation. Joe credits  team-chasing in the summer for the horse’s happy frame of mind.

    “It keeps his mind clear and he loved it,” said Joe, who has established a bond with Su and Gordon Hall’s 12-year-old, who has a reputation as a “bit of a beast”.

    “He’s grumpy in the stable but that’s his character – I think he’s happy being grumpy,” said Joe. “You have to get on with him, you can’t boss him, but he’s the best horse I’ve had and my best mate.”

    Of the 44 competitors who took on course-designer Mark McGowan’s 1.40m track of distance and rideability questions, only seven posted clears, Mark Edwards claiming two.

    Mark set an early target on Montreuxs Tale, but Joe set off determinedly and trusted the Shannondale Sarco St Ghyvan x Olympic Lux gelding to gallop, wiping 0.31 sec off the time. Mark had to settle for second with William Walker’s mid-draw effort taking third on I’m Special The One AK.

    “All he does at home is hack and jump a few hedges, he rarely goes in the school – that’s his routine and he’s happy,” said Joe. “I know he can jump the oxers, but I love it when I see a set of planks because he’s so careful, I can ride him at them – it’s the best feeling ever.”

    Grennanstown Sarco Luxhill made headlines with his previous rider, Tabitha Kyle, when they successfully competed in children-on-horses classes.

    Joe jumped in his first ever two-star grand prix with “Bart” at Keysoe in October and it has given him a taste for bigger things.

    “I’ve not had the horses to do international shows before, but I’d like to take that step,” he said.

    You can read the full report from Arena UK’s Winter Classic in this week’s issue of Horse & Hound, in the shops Thursday 10 November.

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