The historic horse show held in the unique setting of the Piazza di Siena at Villa Borghese is usually a favourite with all the riders.
This year however the show was hampered by the late pulling out of a sponsor and the replacement of the organising committee and under the circumstances I suppose we were lucky it went ahead at all.
However it should not pass without them knowing that it was far from the usual 5 star standard and would not be acceptable in usual circumstances.
The entries had to be paid by each rider rather than the usual way of offsetting them against monies won; no pick up at the airport so everyone had to pay 80 euro each for taxis.
Presumably to try and strengthen revenues they had national classes during the day and the final international class as late as 10pm one night, which is madness as you could only use the warm up arena at 6am which meant not only riders but grooms and horses had one day running into the next with little rest.
All in all it was a below par event which I hope will not filter down to other shows who think they can get away with same poor standards for what’s meant to be one of the calendar’s showcase competitions in the year.
We had a difficult Nations’ Cup with Niall Talbot’s unfortunate elimination following a fall, while an uncharacteristic high score from me in the same round put the team seriously under presssure.
My horse took off a stride early at the water and then the round unravelled. We got it together in the second round and had just one down but it was all too late. This week in St Gallen we will be bidding for a top three finish to help our low standing on the league table.
Sometimes when things go poorly it’s a great test of mettle and usually the cream will always rise to the top - lets see!