Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials week is finally upon us!

After my tumble at Hambleden last week, there was no time to sit around as we had Quality Purdey and Holly (Riffala Du Buisson) competing in the novice at Milton Keynes last Wednesday, as well as my working student Jess Shiach’s first BE100 with her horse Tiny (Jamacain Me Crazy).

All the horses were very good, with both of the mares doing brilliant dressage tests, which didn’t score at all what I expected. Nevertheless, they jumped superbly with Holly finishing 8th and Purdey 10th.

Jess did a fantastic 33 double clear with Tiny, and I thought she was definitely in the top 10 before she had time-penalties for going too fast! I watched her round and it wasn’t rushed, but I think she can take her foot off the accelerator a bit until she moves up to novice.

Since Milton Keynes, we have been slowly tidying and packing things away in preparation for Badminton. We leave on Wednesday morning, so we’ve had plenty of time and there is no excuse if I’ve missed anything!

Louie (Zero Flight) has done his last canter (with his head between his legs for the first half of his first run up the gallops) so I think he is more than fit enough. He’s also seen Gill Carter for his last massage session, which he absolutely loved, licking his lips and yawning the whole time. My fabulous farrier Chris also put new shoes on him last week and I’ve clipped him out, so Louie has definitely had the once over from all angles.

I also made the trip to Market Harborough yesterday to have a chat with Hows Racesafe about having a new body protector made for Badminton. I’ve been riding in the same one for too many years now (it came over from the States with me in 2003), and besides looking old, it’s the wrong colour! Tim and James How kindly fitted me with a new Racesafe body protector, and are having it made up in my pink and green colours in time for Badminton’s cross-country day. They are a lovely, family-run company with so much attention to detail, I cannot recommend them enough.

So now the truck has had a serious clean, we’ve cooked basically every meal and frozen it, and Baxter is off to Doggie Dazzlers this morning for a bath and tidy up. If that isn’t us covering every base, I don’t know what is!

It takes a big team to get a horse to Badminton, and I am forever indebted to mine for their huge help and support along the way. Here’s hoping Louie and I can hold up our end of the deal and have a great result for everyone involved.

Lauren 

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Lauren will be blogging daily from Badminton this week, so log back on to follow her progress.

Don’t miss the second part of H&H’s Badminton preview — a 16-page pull-out with form guide and a scorecard to fill in for every rider — on sale this Thursday, 2 May.