Just sitting in the lounge in Charles de Gaulle waiting for my flight home from Paris where I've been for the last number of days competing at the CSI 5 star Paris Gucci Masters. I had a good week overall, covering exes and getting a few bob on top. However I must admit the top spoils seemed to be elusive, as a vital pole denied me a chance of a jump-off in both Saturday night's and Sunday's big classes.
Everything about the show was world class. It was really well organised in every possible aspect The venue was beautiful, situated five minutes from Charles de Gaulle airport, and the main sponsor was Gucci, which in itself added a classy dimension to the event. It was very comfortable for the horses in terms of the stabling and two large warm-up arenas.
Rodrigo Pessoa is heavily involved in the organisation of this show, and having a competitor with an in depth knowledge of the game giving their input was a real bonus to the whole event, and set it apart from other shows in many respects.
Rancorrado was placed all the same in the three big classes in which he jumped and I have to say that Conrad Holmfeld the American course designer really tests both horse and rider, especially when using his signature trap - a forward distance to a short combination built beside the wall at the end of the course. Today we mastered that, but unfortunately touched off the last vertical behind which was a costly pole, let me tell you!
Rancorrado is jumping better than ever and today's course was probably one of the biggest I've jumped indoors. I do feel we are knocking on the door and what I keep telling myself is not to get frustrated, stay focused, stick with the plan and the big win will come.
I would like to congratulate Denis Lynch. He was the only other Irish rider at the show, where he produced two superb clear rounds with All Inclusive to finish second in the Grand Prix.
Splendor was also in the money for me, placing 4th and 6th respectively in the opening and the final 1m40s.
Busy week ahead, at home for a few days before travelling to Olympia which kicks off on Thursday. Check back next week for more news.