Lauren Shannon’s blog: Olympic ambitions and anticipation

Lauren_Shannon_and_Zero_Flight1.JPG

Hi everyone, it seems you are going to have to put up with an extra-long blog as I haven’t written one in a very long time and there is loads to catch up on!

I hope you haven’t been pulling your hair out with all the recent cancellations we have had in the eventing world. Events have been doing their utmost to keep the ground conditions good enough to run, but sometimes the British weather is just too much to handle! I suppose in a year that saw Badminton cancelled due to rain we should have expected the worst.

Luckily the only three-day I competed in last month, Balcarres, managed to run its international classes despite truly horrendous amounts of mud! I had a great weekend with Crunchie, owned by Watling JCB. She did a good dressage to score 49 and jumped a fabulous double clear in not the easiest ground to finish 12th. We would have been placed much higher, but I hurt my back quite badly the day of cross-country, so had to go very steady on her. Nevermind though, she is only six and it was hardly a bad result for her first three-day!

I withdrew Lux from Balcarres because of the weather — she was only competing there as we were making the trip anyway and she’d missed out on her first advanced runs of the season. Now, because of the cancellations at Eglinton and Gatcombe, she is only just doing her first advanced this weekend at Aston-le-Walls! Not ideal considering I am trying to qualify her for the 8/9 year old championships at Blenheim, but everyone is in the same boat I think.

Louie has been preparing for Burghley as well, starting with getting his big fat belly under control. He has been cantering the last few weeks, and the dressage work we have been concentrating on all spring seems to be really coming along. He is running at Aston this weekend, and as I am going to Hartpury in a few weeks with McFly, he will make the trip there as well.

I cannot wait for Burghley, but there is one huge event between now and then that is getting me very excited! I have Olympic fever quite badly, and am lucky enough to have a ticket for the first morning of the eventing dressage.

I will then be staying in London with the Olympic Ambition program for a few days to get a “behind the scenes” look at how the Olympics works and how the athletes cope with the added pressure of a Games situation. From eventing there will be Willa Newton, Gemma Tattersall and myself heading down with our coach Sarah Verney. It is a great program, and visiting the Games is the last hurrah.

We spent two days at a training camp at Loughborough University at the beginning of July getting to meet athletes from other sports and having lectures on everything from media at the Olympics to nutrition and health. We were then kitted out with official GB kit, which didn’t help the Olympic fever I have, and told we will get to watch our sport plus another while we are in London.

It has really inspired me to want to get on a senior British team and one day represent GB. Next weekend though, I will be screaming from the sidelines, and I hope you will be too!!

Lauren

All Lauren’s diaries

Lauren’s website