The entry list for the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials has been published and I’m excited to see we have come off the wait list and on to the accepted entries list — which brings me another step closer to an amazing dream becoming a reality!

Horse & Hound has invited me to write this online blog to share my first Badminton experience with you so let me introduce myself, my super special horse and give you a bit of background of how our journey so far has brought us to this point.

My name is Nana Dalton. I’m 35 and based on the Surrey/Sussex borders.  I’ve always been passionate about horses and now juggle running a yard of six horses with being a wife to Adam and mummy to Toby, who’ll be two next month.  Not only is this the the first opportunity I’ve had to enter Badminton, this milestone is made all the more magical as it is with a homebred horse.

Absolut Opposition (Miley) is jointly owned by Rosie Glaister, Katie Coventry and myself and our incredible journey started many years ago with his mummy, Ruffos Star.  She was a beautiful big mare by Ruffo (also the sire of Riva Ruel, who my sister Patricia Price completed Badminton on in 2005).  I used to event her and sold her to Rosie, who put her in foal to Fleetwater Opposition.

Baby-miley

This resulted in a stunning, self-assured black colt (pictured above) who was named ‘Miley’ because his legs went on for miles and ‘Absolut Oppostion’ after Rosie’s love of Absolut vodka. Another fairly remarkable aspect of this story is that not only did Rosie, Katie and I all ride Ruffos Star, but we also all saw Miley the day he was born.

When Miley was a two-year-old, Katie and I bought into him and so our syndicate ownership was born along with our hopes and dreams for his future.  I backed him myself and hunted him the full season as a four-year-old, which gave him a great grounding and really helped channel some of his energy!

older-mileyHe has a massive character and especially as a young horse, pushed a lot of boundaries and tested my patience and stickability!  He won a novice as a five-year-old and has been placed in the top 10 in a CCI*, both his CCI2*’s (including seven-year-old championships at Osberton) and last year was placed at Barbury, Blair and Blenheim three-stars.

Miley will be 10 this year (I believe he is one of only three 10yr olds entered) and although his character is maturing, he still thrives on ‘banter’ and relishes a challenge, which is why we cannot wait for the challenge ahead…!

I feel privileged to be on this journey with such a special horse and such wonderful supportive owners and being in this position, with the chance of competing at the worlds most prestigious event, really is the stuff of dreams.

Nana