It’s Burghley time! We arrived here at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials yesterday afternoon and settled “Louie” (Zero Flight) into his stable, which he found very exciting. I was given my rider’s pack (which had lots of goodies) and Kerry got her groom’s pack as well (even more goodies!).

As we only live an hour from Burghley it feels like our “local” event, and it means that anything I forget (so far washing-up liquid, sponges, the tomatoes, kettle, my waterproofs and no doubt countless other things) can be brought by unsuspecting helpers throughout the week.

But back to the important thing, the event. We had our briefing in the stables’ dining room this morning, which is a chance for us to meet our ground jury and be given a list of do’s and don’ts. After this, I headed to the tradestands, where everyone is still setting up, so it’s a huge contrast to what it is going to look like this weekend. I saw my clothing sponsors Rampant Sporting to check out their new stock and fill them in on my times so they can watch.

From there I walked the course, just on my own to get a feel of it. It looks very impressive, and a little longer than last year, going all the way up to the massive Cottesmore Leap. To be honest, I loved the whole course — both the waters look demanding, but it seems to be the kind of course that will reward bold and exact riding.

But today all we had to worry about was the trot-up. Louie was lovely and wasn’t even too strong when I trotted him up, so my wrist held up well. The only disaster was in the lorry when I put my gorgeous white dress on and then managed to spill make up ALL down it! So I was wearing a very last-minute outfit, but I suppose the most important thing is the horse anyway…

We are off now for arena familiarisation, which is just a chance to walk around the dressage arena and chill the horses out a bit. Then it’s all systems go for dressage tomorrow! Let’s hope I can manage not to forget anything and not have a wardrobe malfunction…

Lauren

Lauren will be blogging from Burghley every day this week. Keep checking the homepage for her diaries or find them all at www.horseandhound.co.uk/laurenshannon.

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