Well, we’re now undergoing the final preparations for the countdown to the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.

It’s been an exciting week with the course preview out on the Badminton website. I watched with a funny feeling in my stomach — excitement and nerves! I have also downloaded the new Badminton app on my phone — it’s really smart with a list of all the riders, map of the course and it will have up-to-date results after each phase.

On Friday, it was off to Ian Woodhead’s for more dressage tuning, with “Joe” (Uptons Who) and “Danny” (Consult Z). They both went really well. We worked through the test with Joe focusing on each individual movement, which made me realise how important every mark is and how I can keep improving the quality of the trot and canter. Hopefully on the day we can produce the extra marks that I achieved in the lesson!

An early Saturday start to Weston Park with Rocksoxs, Pharlys Crown Pegasus and Consult Z (left) turned out to be well worth it! All the horses performed extremely well, “Rocky” (Rocksoxs) finished 4th in the novice with a 29 dressage and a double clear, while “Pegasus” (Pharlys Crown Pegasus) also did a highly commendable dressage for a 29, but had one down before a brilliant cross-country round. Danny also did a lovely double clear.

The sun was shining and all the owners turned up with their families, ending a successful day with wine and food while watching the Grand National.

Supportive sponsors

We have some fantastic new sponsorship news. Renewable energy specialists Eco Solartech Ltd have joined Hobday International. Check out their website for information on their solar panels for farms and equestrian properties. At Badminton we will be able to provide anyone interested with product literature.

Unfortunately our new horsebox that is being built by Profile Coach Builders is not going to be ready for the big day as it is only going to the paint shop next week! However, we are looking forward to taking it to Tattersalls next month.

I’d like to thank everyone who’s been so supportive on the build-up to Badminton, including Horses’ Bits, our local tack shop, who have sent me a special Badminton goody bag with contents from hoof oil to mane and tail spray and much more. We have also had a package from my long-standing sponsors Baileys Horse Feeds who have sent a lovely new rug for “Sir Joseph”, and some nice new team coats!

The next blog I write will be as I arrive at Badminton, and on that note I would like to thank everyone who has wished me well and I hope to make you all proud.

So til next time (can’t wait!),

Best regards,

Ben

Read Andrew Hoy’s thoughts on the Badminton course in this week’s H&H (14 April issue), out now.

Ben will be blogging daily from Badminton from next Wednesday so don’t miss finding out how he gets on. Find all his blogs at www.horseandhound.co.uk/benhobday

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