Estoril in Portugal is situated on the coast about half an hour's drive outside Lisbon. The weather was perfect, the ground in good shape, and the riders put up in a five-star hotel just a two minute walk from the showgrounds.
This was only a two-day show and in the main event on Friday Rancorrado jumped a really good double clear to finish 4th. For anybody who watched the jumping last night on Eurosport, I imagine it made for strange viewing, as 23 of 43 combinations jumped clear in the first round and only 4 jumping a second clear.
I believe the second round being under lights made a considerable difference. At some shows the lighting is so good it's better than in daylight, and while I don't want to criticise there were quite a few shadows in the ring and especially in the warming up. Rancorrado had a superb first round clear and was going clear in the second round until the final line. He stalled off the floor at an oxer beside the pocket and hit the back pole quite hard. The next fence was the triple which caused great difficulty throughout the class and after jumping in well, he hesitated and put down at the second part, throwing me over his ears!
So as you can imagine Estoril is not on my list to return to for a holiday anytime soon! However at this stage of my career you learn to take the knocks and work through them. As I said last week about Denis Lynch, we all have our good days and bad days. The important thing is to stay patient and focused and follow your plan. In the main, these things come round and everyone gets a turn, and I just hope mine comes soon!!
Rancorrado will pop a few small classes next weekend at the 4* show in La Coruna, Spain, just to be on the safe side, but as he's such a genuine horse, I know Estoril won't have affected him. I also take Splendor and Baloufina.