I am happy and sad to say that Thomas (Ying Yang Yo) and I had the lonely walk home after negotiating three quarters of the course in the CCI **** in Luhmuehlen, Germany today.
We had a respectable dressage test yesterday that was not far off being brilliant. He performed well and scored a lot of 8's and 9's and also some 1's and 2's. We finished on a 52, not that far off the pace.
In the cross-country he was jumping well over the fences and keeping up with the minute markers over the testing course early on. At about a third of the way around I noticed him fatigue, and heard him gasping for air. This was unusual for my old partner, but we pressed on. Jump by jump it got worse and he started to jump poorly; he also started getting louder and louder in his breathing. Eventually he glanced off a corner after a labored approach and I thought its best to pull up my old friend and walk him home.
I am still not sure what was amiss. I know I had him fit enough as he had done the required amount of gallops and fitness work. I am getting the German team vet to scope him in the morning to see if he has a respiratory infection, or perhaps a displaced palate. I am still very confused about the event and his condition.
The good news is that we are both smiling, alive and well. A big thanks must go to Silva for all of her help on the flat this week, Sara for a wonderful job looking after him here, and to his owners Pierre and Denise who have not only been great fun, but very understanding and supportive.
A big congrats to Coleen and Shiraz, who made this cross-country course look like a Pony Club schooling show. She rode fantastic and Shiraz looks fresh as a daisy back in the barn.