The CSI 5* World Cup Show at Lyon was an amazing spectacle. The main arena was spacious, had great crowds, and with the best riders and horses in the world present, each competition was outstanding.
I must say it was one of the most competitive shows I've ever been to. This was largely due to the good prize funds on offer and the fact that every class carried world ranking points. On the opening day I had a late draw with Complete in the 1.45/1m50 2-phase where he shaved over one-and-a-half seconds off the very fast French rider Patrice Delaveau and scorched to victory.
It gave me a great boost at the start of the week and I was absolutely over the moon the following evening when Rancorrado jumped two clear rounds in an amazingly fast jump off to land me the double.
On Sunday was the World Cup Qualifier where Rancorrado unluckliy rubbed off the third last jump for four faults. This was his first indoor show, having had a break since Calgary, and it just goes to show the calibre of a horse he is to come here and take on and beat some of the best combinations in the world.
Robert Splaine, Irish Team Manager, travelled out to keep his eye on the Irish riders and it was great to have him there on hand to advise on the various technicalities of the courses. I'll be at home now for a few days, but the same horses travel down to Verona where I will join them on Friday for the World Cup show there.
Check back next week for an update from Italy.