Well, after the excitement and exhilaration of the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, it’s back to work! I took last weekend off from eventing, but still worked at home teaching and riding the younger horses.
I also went showjumping twice in the last week, as much to get my eye back in on all the horses as to get them out before we go eventing again this week. All the horses behaved impeccably, and I am confident that “Lux” (Gentel Lux), “Smartie” (Smart Lady) and “Robbie” (Ballyengland Twilight) will pick right up where they left off.
“Crunchie” (Kilcannon Credit Crunch) will start her first ever events with me this week, after she was purchased by myself and Watling JCB last month. I am very excited to get her out as she is proving ultra-trainable and balanced under pressure.
People keep asking me if I have come down from cloud nine yet after Burghley, and I wish I could say I was still up there, but eventing is such a tough game and as competitors, we have to enjoy the moment and then get straight back to reality.
My reality hit me as soon as I drove out of the gates at Burghley. I know “Louie” (Zero Flight) is now an established four-star horse and I was thrilled with how he went, but I know I need more like him, especially since I retired my other four-star ride, Quixotic, earlier this year.
Horsepower is a big issue for any rider, so this last week I have been focusing on trying to make contact with as many potential owners as I can, especially as I have been offered a couple of lovely advanced horses to join the team — so fingers crossed.
My other exciting news this week is that I have been selected to be on the World Class development programme. This programme, supported by UK Sport though lottery funding, supports young athletes with the aim to develop them into future British team members at championships such as Europeans, World and Olympic Games. This means a huge amount to me and has given me a great boost to aim for one of my biggest goals — to be asked to wear a senior GB flag.
But in the meantime, there is a lot of work to be done with the horses I already have! We are at Purston Horse Trials this Wednesday and Thursday and Burnham Market all weekend, with dressage lessons and showjumping in between. So I suppose it is no rest for the wicked…