Our journey to Burghley starts tomorrow as I’m going via Newmarket for a friend’s wedding. On Sunday I will be visiting Matthew Lanni for a final jumping tune up and then it’s on to Burghley on Tuesday to get settled in.

Since my last diary I’ve had a good flat lesson with Elizabeth Winter when we went through the test. I had it videoed so I could watch it back afterwards, which I found really helpful. Sky [Star Prospect] has also done some gymnastic jumping and she did her final piece of canter work yesterday.

When we first started her fitness work Sky was really enthusiastic about it, but as she has got fitter, and has realised she is going to have to work up the same hill five or six times in a row, she has become less keen. Yesterday I took some friends with her to help inspire her to put a bit more effort in and that seemed to do the trick.

She has had her final check up with my physio, Sarah Price, who will also be visiting us at Burghley. Sky tends to have quite tight hamstrings so Sarah is a regular visitor. She also helps puts me back together, which is very handy! I’m suffering from a very sore neck at the moment so it was good to see her.

Now the event is nearly here I’m feeling quite excited. I’ve read H&H’s coursewalk with Tina Cook and I’ve watched the video coursewalk on the Burghley website. It looks like a really interesting course and it’s not too long at 11min 30sec so it should suit Sky.

You can’t really judge any course properly until you walk it for yourself, but the Cottesmore Leap really does look terrifying! I remember walking up to it years ago and being amazed at the size. Also the big table on Winner’s Avenue looks enormous in the photos with Tina lying on it. Hopefully it will look smaller in reality.

There are some serious questions early on in the course but I’d like to think that I will take most of the direct roots. Sky prefers not to be pulled around too much, so that will suit her if we keep going straight.

I’m number 75 which means I will be doing dressage on Friday. This will be first time that I’ve had Friday dressage in all my international runs so there will be no boozing for me on Thursday night! It will be nice to have time to watch the dressage on Thursday though.

Fingers crossed everything goes according to plan between now and then.

See you there.


Keep in touch with Sara’s first Burghley with her diary updates on Horseandhound.co.uk/Burghley08 throughout the event

View the full list of Burghley entries