Well, the dust has settled, and my anger has subsided into bitter disappointment - it's bloody annoying when you can't perform anywhere near your abilities, and even worse when you can't show others what you can do in the arena, having just one chance to do so.
The boy came back saying it was a good experience, something to learn from - I suppose that's fair enough. On both days, he was the top rider using a Japanese-bred horse, and definitely the top Thoroughbred user by far, coming 12th on the second day. Even then, though, the percentage dropped due to the crazy conditions caused by the typhoon blowing through. Yes, this picture is not bad photography, it's an illustration of the weather!
He's already saying he wants to challenge the championship with 'Bugatti', which is something to think about over the next few months. I'm glad he's as determined as I am to stick with Thoroughbreds, even though his age group doesn't split Japanese-bred horses from foreign ones, as they do in the adult classes. He's just earned himself a good few brownie points with his enthusiasm and stubborn streak...
PS. After consulting with everyone at the stables, a plan has been formulated. Nothing is guaranteed, of course, but the idea I'm happy to support levels the playing field a bit, as well as keeps all my policies in place. The boy has something to aim for - he needs to improve in a few areas, but we have a year to polish up. Watch this space!