Two wins and a 2nd on a magnificent day

“Simply extraordinary!” was the comment from Tim Beecher in Ireland when hearing the Allan team’s results today.

An exhausted trainer Bernice Cuthbert drove home a lorry full of performances after rising at 0230 to take five horses to a ludicrous site in Windsor Home Park where officials forced Wednesday participants to park, and keep their horses, a mile or so from the competition area. It might have ground the humans if not the horses down, but the response was spirited and, for the Allan Bloodlines team, something of a triumph.

Eventers TONIGHT’S PRIZE and SCHOLARSHIP went in the Newcomers with Abi Walters on board and went double clear and nearly double clear respectively. “TP” is a team icon and must have chuckled inwardly after a most accomplished showjumping display. SCHOLARSHIP – another retired racehorse – was unlucky not to do as well and have a similar chuckle.

Then LOUGHNATOUSA RAFA and John Crippen made their appearance – quite dramatically given the crack that John quite rightly gave the recalcitrant Rafa in the collecting ring. The effect carried through to the Main Ring where Rafa won the 70+ strong division of the Foxhunter with a ride from John Crippen of which LOUGHNATOUSA DIAMOND would have approved.

LOUGHNATOUSA RAVEN then went into the 1.40 and finished 2nd in amongst the great and the good of showjumping. More or less unextended, RAVEN failed to win by only 1.5 seconds most of which was spent in the air clearing the obstacles with ease. She would have been just as quick 10 cm higher. Brilliant if not testing enough.

Perennial favourite LOUGHNATOUSA DIAMOND went in the B&C handicap – another speed class. Only a few of them saw which way John and Diamond went. They won with something in hand with a storming round typical now of what John can get out of Diamond and what Diamond does for John. Raw excitement and another victory at Royal Windsor.

Rafa returned for the Walwyn Novice Championship and went clear, only to fail to find a stride in the jump off against the clock and have the only pole of the Team’s day down. This 8th placed finish for gawky-but-penny-dropping Rafa and John did nothing to mar a simply extraordinary day for the Allan team and John Crippen, whose brother Simon won the Walwyn.