Brilliant fun, amazing memories and huge disappointment -
that’s horses and unfortunately sums up my first Badminton!! But we will be
To actually get to my first Badminton was such a massive privilege
and I was so excited and thrilled to be there with my very special horse. Just
arriving and walking through the archways to the historic and beautiful stables
is a feeling I will never forget!!
First step - trot up and this has become a serious fashion parade!! I was kindly made a beautiful outfit (plus given boots and hat) and managed to match up to TJ, who my grooms had looking divine! The trot up is always a bit nerve wracking but a very excited TJ was accepted by the ground jury and we were officially starters at Badminton Horse Trials - wow!
Dressage next and a personal best is all you can ever wish
for - we did just this in a big atmosphere and I couldn’t have been prouder of
him. No we weren’t troubling the leaders but we both did our best and looked
forward to our favourite part to come...
Next amazing experience was drinks reception in Badminton
House, a huge privilege that didn’t disappoint - it is absolutely beautiful.
Great chance to relax with friends and family, plenty of champagne in celebration
and we were glad of a day off the next day!!!
So XC day arrived and I still remained more excited than
nervous, having walked the course 4 times I had my plan and was confident TJ
and I could do it - yes it was huge and tricky but he is the most amazing XC
horse and I have total faith in him. After a perfect warm up there was a delay
to our start and TJ got over excited and managed to pull a shoe off....talk
about bad timing, mass panic and the farrier having to nail it back on in a
hurry to a very excited horse minus a big chunk of hoof. Anyway mission
accomplished we set off and TJ was awesome, simply foot perfect over everything
until suddenly he stopped! Taken by surprise I presented him to the jump twice
more but he wasn’t interested and we were eliminated, such mixed emotions of
disappointment, confusion and most of all worry that he was injured as it was
just so unlike him.
We quite quickly discovered that the shoe he lost had been
nailed back on a bit tight and after 6 minutes of galloping and jumping he must
have been feeling sore and very sensibly opted to go no further. Absolutely
gutted but so relieved that this was obviously the problem.
I am pleased to say that after a week off, a new shoe from
my brilliant farrier and he was right back to form and plans started for the
next event. Easier said than done with on call to swap and days off needed but
thanks to my amazing colleagues at Milbourn for making it work - next stop