We arrived safely at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials yesterday afternoon and Ben (Master Monarch) settled in straight away — portable stables are his second home now. After a good night’s sleep, we went for a hack around the grounds and up to the arena, where Ben obviously realised where he was… and insisted on charging about in medium trot! He then had a bath and Katie Preston, my friend who is grooming for me, got to work on making him look fabulous for the trot-up, giving him a very neatly sewn plait for every one of the 19 years of his life.

My Mum and I took on the inevitable task of the first course-walk. It definitely confirmed I’m at one of the greatest four-stars in the world, with some huge spreads and the infamous undulating terrain. However, very rideable and amazingly built. I will need to re-walk another three or four times to confirm where I’m going as there are several options of what lines to take and routes to navigate.

I was then privileged to pick up a fantastic outfit to wear for the trot-up from the unique tweed designers Timothy Foxx. Feeling confident in my new outfit and with Ben feeling sprightly we flew through the trot-up. I then rode him again to practise some of my dressage moves for tomorrow.

The times are now out and I’m due on at 3.52pm tomorrow, so plenty of time to watch, walk the course, and for a spot of shopping, of course. I’ve just got to hope Ben will remained focused and listen to me with the grand occasion tomorrow and I can ride him to the best of my abilities.

Georgie

Report of the first trot-up

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