The British rider piloted SHE Eventing AB’s 12-year-old Maybach to a score of 29, in a relaxed test marred only by the fact he was slow to settle in the mid-test halt and then skipped before the final halt.
“I’m chuffed with him. All his big events have been through Covid, so he’s not seen an atmosphere like this,” said Pippa. “It’s a shame he had that skip before the last halt as that was costly – I didn’t quite get his shoulder enough so it’s rider error.
“My greatest concern was that he’s quite insecure as a person – you’d never be able to leave him on his own on the lorry and he neighs when his friend goes out of the stables here.
“So I was worried that being last to go, he’d be left on his own in the warm-up and would get insecure and start whinnying. But he was good and really with me, a bit like some of my old boys used to be.”
Maybach has been in Pippa’s programme from the beginning of his education as he was started as a four-year-old by Swedish rider Hedvig Wik, who was based with the Funnells.
“Then she sensibly gave up riding and went to do something where she could earn more money,” said Pippa, explaining how she took over the ride in 2017.
Pippa sits equal 14th on her first ride Majas Hope, who did his test yesterday, and hopes she can learn from her early cross-country round on him, although they are very different horses.
“Maybach wouldn’t have the length of stride that Hope does,” said Pippa, admitting the nerves never get better as she advances through her career and she expects to be “pretty jittery” tomorrow.
The British riders have put up a strong performance in the Kentucky Three-Day Event dressage, with Sarah Bullimore second on Corouet and Yasmin Ingham fourth on Banzai Du Loir, as well as Pippa’s two riders. US-based Brit Leslie Law holds equal 37th on Voltaire De Tre’.
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Credit: Pippa Roome
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