Well, it’s a big sigh of relief that yesterday at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials went well.

I woke up before my alarm (it could have been excitement, it could have been nerves) at 6am. I went for a quiet course walk with my boyfriend, Alan, before walking it again with Mark and Tanya Kyle.

I had already decided to go all the straight routes when Mark told me to think about it and maybe give the course a bit more respect and play it safe. I understood where he was coming from, but I know “Louie” (Zero Flight) so well now, and was confident enough to feel that we could have a nice round going straight.

So I headed back to the lorry and kitted myself up for my round. Luckily I was on at 11.56am so I didn’t have time to wait around and worry about the course. I warmed Louie up the same way I always have, lots of showjumps at a decent height to get him thinking and a few cross-country fences with angles. He felt great, if not a little too full of himself.

The course rode so well, being attacking everywhere. I was over the moon with how Louie took it on and took care of me. I will say my riding wasn’t 100%, but he picked up the slack. To be fair, I’ve helped him out in the past so he was re-paying the favour! I feel that if I had been riding more and competing more the past 4 weeks, I would have kicked him up more, but it didn’t help that I lost my whip after the Rolex Combination so didn’t have any back-up!

At the end of the day, Louie finished so well, with only 2.8 time-penalties, in 20th place. He was iced, saw the physio to make sure everything is ok, and was given loads of congratulatory cuddles.

So then it was time for a shower and bed — and a good jumping round today!

Lauren

Find all Lauren’s diaries at www.horseandhound.co.uk/laurenshannon.

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