Emily Parker’s Burghley blog: too fresh for cross-country day

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Hello everyone,

Well, this is not quite the news I was hoping to impart this evening after cross-country at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, however we are both alive and will live to fight another day.

After a solitary course walk this morning, I was eventually beginning to picture myself jumping round. I stomached breakfast and then headed to watch the first few jump on the screens at the start – the yawning had begun (classic nervous sign)!

I managed to break the zip on my boots before I got on – good start – then headed to the warm up. To say Trev (Treefers) was a tad fresh is an understatement. I nearly fell off as he darted sideways from an abnormal blade of grass – but he was jumping out of his skin and filled me with confidence.

The walk down to the cross-country start was daunting but after a quick pep talk from Caroline Moore and Ian Stark I was well up for it… unfortunately so was Trevor – a little too much! He stormed out of the start box and breezed the first few, leapt off the Leaf Pit Classic drop and just continued to gallop, not even noticing my attempts at steering to the fence. Bugger.

Once I eventually stopped and jumped the alternative we cracked on – one silly missing of a fence was not going to deter us. However, the next time I needed to turn left, at Discovery Valley, Trevor had very different ideas and continued to canter along ignoring me yet again. Really bugger.

After this I decided I really wasn’t strong enough to try and haul him around the course and called it a day. We got nannyed back through the crowds by a kind gentleman from the Blankney hunt and crept sheepishly into the stables.

Certainly not the fairytale description I’d have loved to have given of the course, but we’re certainly not down and out – already planning where to take my racehorse next.

I’m obviously devastated to have let everyone down who has supported me this far, however I am determined to make up for it in the near future! Lynny Babes tells me Trev has been squealing and leaping around while grazing this evening – definitely needs a good gallop. Maybe I’ll sneak round later!

I’m staying tonight to drown sorrows then watch everyone showjump tomorrow before heading back up north, so I will blog tomorrow as spectator rather than competitor (boo) but it is still such a privilege to be here.

Hopefully my next blog will make some sense after tonight, could be entertaining if not…

Thanks,

Em x

H&H report of the cross-country

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