So, cross-country day!

My day started at a slightly more sensible time, and when I stepped out the lorry the sun was shining, although the forecast did look a bit dodgy.

I then went and gave my Blenheim-bound horse Willows Tipster a jump, which he enjoyed and it got my eye in.

Having been undecided yesterday as to which routes I was taking, after my course walk with Yogi Breisner I had got a firm plan in my head. So this morning I went for a quiet walk around some of the trickier combinations. By the time I got back to the lorry it was pretty well time to stuff a piece of toast down and get ready to go.

Now, onto my round. We got into a great rhythm in the early part of the course, although Galley made a very big and careful jump into the first water. He then went on to eat up all of the big plain fences and the Cottesmore Leap! He flew though both the Dairy Farm and the Rolex Combination. I went the long route at the Trout Hatchery, which having seen the amount of fallers in the water later in the day was the sensible option.

Ben Way riding GALLEY LIGHT during the cross country phase of The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials near Stamford in Lincolnshire UK on 3rd September 2016

My first problem came at the Discovery Valley. To be honest I did not think it would cause as much trouble as it did. Galley gave the B element so much room that we landed very steep, and by the time we got to to the C element there was no stride there. In hindsight and having seen so may horses do the same thing, I should have gone long, but when you have not had a chance to watch anyone go round it’s not an easy call.

Galley then had a look at the top of the Leaf Pit but popped down it on the second attempt. Having dropped off me a bit in terms of feeling forwards after our first stop, I was really pleased that after the Leaf Pit he picked the bridle up and travelled home really well with his ears pricked!

I must say I was glad to have him back home safe and tucked up in his stable with his hay net before the worst of the rain started.

Continued below…

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A quick clear inside the time was always the plan, but I was genuinely pleased to complete around a seriously tough Burghley. Throughout the afternoon there were some dramas and some textbook displays of cross-country riding from some of the world’s best.

I am pleased to say that we have just trotted Galley up and he has come out of the run feeling really well. Fingers crossed for tomorrow!

Ben