What a clever boy, Bug!

I’m so proud of him for how he performed in the dressage this morning at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, and how he coped with the atmosphere.

As a competitor I’ll always be aware of the areas where there is room for improvement but as a realist I know things aren’t always perfect!

Sure, there were a couple of places where we made mistakes today but there were also some really pleasing bits especially how hard Bug tried.

Nana Dalton and Elite Syncopation at Burghley 2015. Picture by Peter Nixon

As I mentioned yesterday, he can sometimes get in a muddle with his flying changes so as I was cantering up my last centre line, I was chuffed to look up and see that he got sevens for his final change.

A score of 53 certainly isn’t troubling the leaders but is a very solid mark and one we’re happy with.

Now it’s time to focus on tomorrow and the immensely challenging cross-country course ahead.

As I’ve said before, Bug is already a champion for even being here and I know I have a really genuine, willing partner to be heading out of the start box on.

The size of those huge fences out there doesn’t actually bother me as he is a big, brave, scopey horse but the intensity of the accuracy questions and all of the undulations here at Burghley certainly will make it a true four-star test.

With this in mind, I am planning on taking a couple of longer routes and won’t be too worried if we’re behind on the clock. My priority will be giving him a really good experience around his first four-star and bringing him back safe and sound.

He is still only 12-years-old so hopefully we’ve got many years ahead of us to keep building on this experience.

Nana