Well, I have arrived at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials and we have got settled in. Everyone is really friendly, although it’s quite nerve wracking being here in the stables compound and riding around the park. I think Ginger was as excited as me when he arrived, but he’s now quite happy that all the other horses have joined him in the stables. We are stabled opposite William Fox-Pitt so I can ask for some last minute advice from the master!
Myself and my groom Dave Burton have received our welcome packs which are packed with all sorts of goodies from Mars bars to shower gel to dog treats. There are also some cat treats that I can take home for my cat Norman. Dave has £80-worth of food vouchers, so I think he should collect his free Burghley polo shirt at the end of the week to make sure it fits!
It was also a proud moment unwrapping my first Burghley plaque. I had better get round to feel like I’ve earnt it. Hopefully it’s the first of many more, but it will be going straight on Ginger’s door when we get home!
The first rider briefing is now out of the way and I’ve got trot up this afternoon. I still haven’t decided what I’m going to wear, but that’s not my biggest worry at the moment — the first horse inspection is always a nervous moment. This afternoon I will walking the course for the first time and then concentrating on lots of dressage practice, hoping it might make some difference ahead of my test tomorrow.
I also have 3 horses in the Burghley Young Event Horse finals on Friday so I need to make a couple of trips out to ride back to the yard over the next couple of days. They are all lovely horses so I hope to make the best of them, despite this not being the ideal preparation for them as I’m based here on site.
Finally I must say a huge thank you to all the messages of support and wishes of good luck I’ve had for the week ahead — it means such a lot to us all. We even had a Burghley survival kit left at the stable manager’s office for us from a friend of Dave’s. It contains a ‘collecting ring controlling stick!?’ Hopefully I’ll get through to the showjumping so Dave can use it…