The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials is over for another year. I had two rides this year, and I cannot thank my two special boys enough for making me so proud this week.

Yesterday morning was typical of any four-star morning — the atmosphere is a little sombre and there is an air of anticipation as everyone prepares for the cross-country.

I walked the course in the morning with my great mate Phoebe Buckley, and made firm plans about which routes I was going to take. It wasn’t long before I was getting on Splash (Drumbilla Metro) and setting off down to the cross-country start.

He set off with plenty of gusto, but as we approached fence four, he suddenly saw the crowd, which was heaving and I think it took him a little by surprise. He showed his inexperience and went a little green, looking at the crowd but was very genuine and continued on getting better and better as he went. We had a frustrating run out at the Rolex combination, but it was just a miscommunication and he jumped clear around the rest of the track. I’m so excited about him — he’s only 10 and was brilliant.

Splash on the cross-country course

I had a couple of hours break before I was off again. Douglas was jumping really well, and I couldn’t have been happier with him until he started to tire at the half way point. He never stopped jumping though, but I had to nurse him home a bit. He is such a genuine and lovely horse. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for him.

Both horses trotted up sound this morning, and jumped well in the showjumping round a tough track.

Splash trotting up

The owners of these two horses have been brilliant. Such fantastic support, and I feel so honoured to ride their two special horses.

Splash in the showjumping

I cannot thank my horses enough for their determination, effort and how deep they dug for me this week — I’m thrilled with both of them. Although there are plenty of things that I would have liked to do better, I cannot be happier with my two horses and the fact that I have completed the biggest three-day event in the world TWICE, with two sound and happy horses is wonderful! I’m feeling very lucky.

Simon

Don’t miss next week’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine, out on 7 September, for full analysis and reports from Burghley