The sun is shining and there is a little event happening in Gloucestershire this week. How exciting.

I have been sorely tempted to put my boys in the lorry and leave them there in bubble wrap and cotton wool with hypoallergenic duct tape until Wednesday, but have decided against it — just!

Since putting pesky Hambleden behind me, I had a super week starting with a hugely exciting five-year-old Carlifax doing his first intro at Milton Keynes — finishing on 27 double clear. He is owned by Willy Do’s owners the wonderful Greenlees family and we all agreed that score would do nicely this weekend as well.

I had two super days dressage training with Andrew Fletcher on Wednesday and Thursday at Ann and Nigel Taylor’s fantastic Aston-le-Walls, followed by jumping a couple more technical cross-country fences with Nigel following my virtual Badminton course walk.

I have to say Luke and I both needed the tune up. Too much dressage can be damaging to one’s brain I think. On Friday we did our last real “piece of work” at Adrian Smith’s gallops before enjoying a reasonably leisurely Saturday of hacking and stretching at home.

Yesterday I took Luke and Willy to do dressage only at Withington. This proved a worthwhile exercise with Willy scoring 26 in the three-star test and leading a competitive section. Luke did a presentable test, but there’s room for improvement. I took their stable mate Sprout who did a very respectable test —  one down (pilot error) and a fab cross-country round a reasonably testing track to take 10th in the advanced. A very satisfactory day.

We were glued to our FEI TV screens all evening to watch the Rolex Kentucky action unfold. What magical drama and excitement. I personally think it’s incredibly good for our sport to have a duel of such epic proportions. William Fox-Pitt’s dressage on Chilli Morning was an inspiration and Andrew Nicholson’s two jumping rounds were as close to flawless as we could hope to witness. Next week is going to be just amazing.

Until next time,

Lucy