With 3 horses originally entered for Hartpury, our main concern was how we were going to get them all there, plus all the gear, in our little 7.5tonne lorry.

However, after success at Gatcombe I withdrew my Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials ride Ben (Master Monarch) so he could have a few days off. Then Whiskey Roo overreached in the field just before we were due to leave so he was pulled out too. With just Highland Leopard (pictured earlier this year at Hambleden) in the CCI**, it turned out to be quite a relaxing week, with plenty of time for socializing, of course.

He did a good dressage of 52, putting me in the top half of the class. The cross-country course offered plenty of questions, but was very inviting, and with the well-needed rain on the Friday night the ground was perfect.

As my dressage was on the Thursday and my cross-country was at 4pm on Saturday, Leopard was pretty excited by the time I ran. Always being slightly cheeky to start, he made no exception in getting my nerves going and in the anticipation I forgot to set my watch. Putting that behind us, we had a fantastic round, and I felt his confidence grow over every fence. Unfortunately we clocked up four time-faults, but not many made the time so I was delighted. He finished the week with a lovely clear showjumping and I moved up to 13th.

My friend Katie Preston, who has been an invaluable help at many of my three-day events, came up to lend a hand and will also be grooming for me at Burghley.

Having had the weekend off, Ben was very fresh being worked yesterday and we’re off to the gallops this afternoon. I am having a lesson with Lucinda Green later in the week which I can’t wait for, as long as I don’t get bucked off by the youngsters before then!

Georgie