The run up to Badminton Horse Trials is always an exciting – and busy – time at Horse & Hound. This year it seems to have crept up on us (well me) and I’ve only just started the huge job of preparing all the photos and biographies that we need to bring our popular H&H Live service to eventing enthusiasts around the world. That’s going to keep me out of trouble for the next few days!

As usual we will be joined on both dressage days by the entertaining Anna Ross Davies, who will be sharing her irrepressible thoughts on topics including rhythm, accuracy and sartorial elegance. A big thank you goes to Baileys Horse Feeds, whose support enables us to provide this service. We hope that you will come and join in the fun.

I’m praying to the weather gods to take pity on horses, riders, grooms (and members of the press!) and bring the torrential rain we have been experiencing to an end before the action begins. It’s always great to be at Badminton, but wet and windy weather does take the edge off the enjoyment for spectators and competitors alike.

Geek offs and games

Following the success of last year’s ‘eventing geek off‘ at Badminton between H&H’s eventing editor Pippa Roome and former British Eventing sports manager Paul Graham, this year I have found myself taking part in a team quiz between Team GBR, Horse & Hound, Equestrian Journalists and Radio Badminton. Horse & Hound has the advantage of having last year’s top eventing geek on our team, but I have heard that some serious swotting is taking place among our rivals, so we had better watch out!

The natural competitiveness of the H&H office was also brought to the fore with the launch of our first online game last week. The NAF Superflex Raise The Bar Jumping Challenge is based on a six-bar jumping competition. When I emailed the link round the office at 20mins to home time, I didn’t expect much of a reaction, but within moments everyone had downed tools and an office-wide competition to head the leader board ensued. If you haven’t checked it out yet, have a go. It is good fun, easy to play and ideal to fill a few minutes during a coffee break.

Truly inspirational

And I can’t finish without mentioning the incredible challenge that paralysed former event rider Claire Lomas is currently undertaking, walking the London Marathon route in her Re-Walk suit. Two members of our news team, Amy Mathieson and Charlotte White, sneaked out of the office this afternoon to walk some of the way with her. So far Claire has walked seven miles in four days and raised over £25,000 towards her £50,000 goal for Spinal Research.

To help Claire reach her goal, go to www.justgiving.com/Claire-Lomas or text legs60 £(the amount you want to donate), to 70070.