Well, while the Badminton boys had a weekend off, I set off for Belton which was definitely a show of two halves — a really rather rubbishy Friday, a magical Saturday and a hugely satisfying Sunday. Two out of three phases went well on both novices, resulting in a distinct lack of ribbons and an epic fail with an experimental test in a snaffle in the three-star for 113th place! Two bits are blatantly better than one!
Thankfully, a super Saturday with second in the open intermediate to William Fox-Pitt on Cool Mountain and a satisfying Sunday with two lovely rounds in the three-star made up for the frustrating Friday.
On our return to reality at the yard, I spent the early hours of Monday lungeing and then galloping my beautiful Badminton boys, Luke and Willy. I then went on a quick trip to get the lorry MOT done, followed by a wonderful session with my business coach/ sport psych Claire Norman. Then it was just a few more to ride! So a 14-hour day was only what I deserved having ridden just one on Saturday and one on Sunday.
We are now full steam ahead for Hambleden with eight horses this weekend between Fran (my chief jockey) and I. We’re then off to Milton Keynes on Tuesday for baby Carl and baby Striker’s British Eventing debuts, then the three big boys are going to Withington — but no cross-country for Willy and Luke as hopefully they set sail for sunny Gloucestershire the following Wednesday.
I am really beginning to get excited about what lies ahead, although there does seem to be a veritable mountain to climb in terms of things to do and boxes to tick before then. Starting with test riding with Isobel Wessels and Team NZ at Mark Todd’s base Badgerstown yesterday, and some jumping with Gill Watson at home today.