Well today was the day. Badminton dressage day is completed for Zo and I.
It was an absolutely amazing feeling to ride into that main arena here at Badminton this morning. Words really can’t describe it! Bizarrely I actually felt so comfortable and relaxed in there I lost my way for a split second and started doing the canter half pass a movement too early. I was just so in the zone it almost shocked me. It is a brilliant tool to have but I mustn’t get a step ahead of myself. After the bell rang to signal the error we recomposed ourselves, get back in the right zone and carried on, with thankfully no more errors. Luckily we haven’t been the only ones to go wrong in the new four-star test this weekend.
With a score of 59.6 I was slightly disappointed as I had been aiming for a lower 50s score. However the experience and knowledge I will have gained from this whole time is invaluable, especially ahead of my first team GBR appearance in the Nations Cup in Poland later this month on another horse. I really can’t wait to do this all again!
After my test there was a lot of press things to do, which is again something new, and even autographs to sign. But it was also incredibly nice to see my support team of friends, family, owners and sponsors waiting there for me.
A quick bite to eat and after that it was off to walk the cross-country yet again. Having re-walked the course it really is most certainly not going to be a dressage competition! Eric Winter has built one mega track out there — I just have to keep pinching myself that I am about to be one of the lucky people that gets a chance to have a go at attempting these incredibly brilliant, beautiful, big and bold fences. I am honestly so excited to give it my best shot. Having said that, I am writing this the evening before — tomorrow morning I might feel a little bit different as the nerves start to kick in!
This evening (Friday) I have the big honour of being presented with my prize for winning the Horse Trials Support Group scholarship this year. It is so, so amazing to be given this opportunity, not only with the prize but with the further support that I am able to receive from more of the eventing greats like Ginny Elliot! However we better be getting an early night tonight in order to store up some energy for some seriously determined riding and lots of kicking tomorrow.
My main thought when I leave the start box tomorrow will be — make it happen!