Just back in my hotel room getting ready to hit the hay. Today was the Nations' Cup here at Windsor, the final of the team medals. We started this morning at 8.30 with the first round. Not alone was it a tiring day physically but also I find these days tiring mentally as I really get focused for the event and put all my energy into it. It's taken until tonight to get my adrenalin levels back to normal.
The Irish team finished 7th of 17 teams today. Darragh had 8 and clear, Cameron was 5 and 4, Thomas was 16 and 12, and I was 9 and 4. These scores, added to our scores from the speed leg on the first day gave us a team total of 35.86 faults.
Cameron produced two very solid rounds, Darragh rode fantastic, the only Irish clear of the competition in the second round, my own horse came back in the second round to jump an absolutely superb round, faulting only at the planks.
Thomas did a good job, I have to say, despite being the discard in both rounds. This is his first championship, his horse is not so easy, and I'm sure he will have learned a lot from the experience.
I can't say we're thrilled by the team performance but when you look at the scores, Silver was won on 31 faults, therefore five faults less and that would have been ours.
You can dissect it all day and say if one guy had one less or that guy had one more, but to be honest, with only the same three riders scores counting both times, and given the fact that our chef d'equipe Robert Splaine was forced to change the team a couple of times, due to other horses being injured, we are not a million miles away from medal success.
Without trying to give waffling sound bites, if we can keep the horses and riders we had here, plus the other top combinations available to Ireland, we have a serious chance to build and develop as a team and achieve medals in Kentucky next year and ultimately the Olympic Games in London in 2012.
This won't happen without support from our national governing body, from our owners, and from the riders getting their heads around what we want and are more than capable of achieving. To borrow the phrase from a certain political party - A lot done, a lot more to do!
In the meantime, I'm still in contention to reach my goal of finishing in the top 10. Check back on Sunday to find out whether I do it or not.