As ever I am running a bit late getting this week’s blog to H&H. The past week has been manic with work getting very busy and I have been flat out with the horses.

Given that this year Blenheim is straight after the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, I have been trying to get plenty of runs into the younger horses so that they can have a quieter couple of weeks while I concentrate on the big boys! Saying that I have a couple of five-year-olds in the Burghley Young Event Horse (BYEH) final on the Friday of Burghley to keep me grounded.

Galley having a workout on Dan Skelton's gallops

Galley having a workout on Dan Skelton’s gallops

Just after my last blog I found out that we have been drawn sixth to go for Burghley this year. This does give me the Thursday dressage I was looking for, but to be honest I would have liked more of an opportunity to see how the cross-country course is riding before I head out — but you can’t have everything.

On the flip side at least I will have made a plan and I will stick to it rather than constantly changing my mind watching the others. I will however make sure that someone is watching the first few go on the TV to see how certain fences are riding and then they can come and tell me while I am in the warm up. This was a job I entrusted to Jane Starkey last year.

All of our Burghley passes also came through this week so it’s starting to feel pretty real. I find that when I am at work I completely zone out of the horses so I find myself leaving work and thinking, “s**t, it’s Burghley next week, get your head in the zone!”

Burghley passes

Burghley passes

I had a trip down to the Holland & Cooper show room his week. I saw Jade Holland Cooper at Badminton this year and she asked if I would wear some of her clothes for the Burghley trot ups (I say ‘ups’ being supremely confident that I will be there for the second one…!). So I will be trying to give Tapperz (Paul Tapner) and Mr Hobday a run for their money in the ‘style stakes’ this year. Although I am fully aware that they are both considerably cooler than me!

I had great runs on Willows Tipster and my Burghley ride Galley Light (‘Galley’, pictured top at Badminton) at Somerford Park Horse Trials with them both jumping double clears and having just the confidence-giving runs I was hoping for across country.

I have got a busy weekend at Keysoe coming up with six of the younger horses running. It’s going to be pretty full on, although good for my ‘pre-Burghley fitness programme’.

I am home alone this week as my girlfriend Sarah has headed off to the Emerald Isle for Millstreet Horse Trials with one horse for the two-star and one in the three-star. I must admit I am not doing too badly, I have just walked the 20 paces over to mum’s and picked up my supper. I am writing this feeling pretty knackered as Ruth Edge has been at ours all day and between us we have worked 10 on flat!

Continued below…

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The plan is to get to Burghley on the Tuesday next week, so my next blog might be a video one from the event. I will pre-warn you I am not good at video interviews — I can never stand still and speak far too fast.

Ben