As I write this, we are just on our way home from Burnham Market Horse Trials where I competed Murphy and my mare Hyacint DHI, who ran in the novice.
The alarm went off at 4.30am and I got the board ready for the day’s work and rode out one lot. I had plaited the night before, so it was just a case of a change of rugs and travel boots on, (it was -5 in Newmarket on Friday morning) and we were on the road at 6.15am.
Courses walked, Sharon Hunt was the under-18 coach so was there and helped me with any questions I had and I had a quick cup of tea — I wish I liked coffee sometimes! I studded Murph up and headed up to the dressage at 10.30am. He did an ok dressage but was quite fresh and happy to be out. He followed this up with a bold double clear, making light work of everything!
Hyacint was next — it was her second run of the season, where she finished fourth previously at Lincoln in the novice. Her dressage is something which she has always been a little hot headed and not quite connected at, but we have worked hard and she did a reasonable test with still lots to come. She then jumped two foot-perfect rounds — the new Pelham worked across country as she took it all in her stride and made light work of it! I will look later at the results as there were still quite a few left to go. This mare will run at Whitfield then Keysoe then do a CCI2*-L at Houghton. She will then hopefully step up to intermediate with the aim of the seven-year-old championship at Osberton at the end of the year. I think and hope she will take me very far, and that’s why I dream to write a blog for the ‘real’ Badminton in five year’s time!
Tomorrow I am taking my four-year-old, Freddie, to Horseheath to do a hunter trial, and then Sunday to Codham to do a round of showjumps. I have entered him in the Burghley Young Event Horse class at Badminton — at least Murph has someone to travel with and I am there anyway so thought so why not?! We have to start somewhere. He is Irish-bred with a lot of blood. I picked him last September, broke him in then gave him the winter off to mature. He is a 16.2hh grey, (another one!) although his tail might never be white. He will do four-year-old classes this year, with the aim to try and qualify him if he turns out good enough for the young horse championships.
My plans with Murph now consist of a lesson with Caroline Moore this week and he is entered at Horseheath Horse Trials, but with no rain forecast I will be unlikely to run him on hard ground. I might just do the dressage as it it very local to us. He will have a good canter too, although he wouldn’t of blown a candle out today when he finished the cross-country.
People ask how I have the time do everything, as anyone who follows me on social media knows I like cooking and am into my fitness too. The answer is I get up early and plan the day as I brush my teeth the night before. Anyone who interrupts my plans normally knows about my sharp tongue as I like things done my way or not at all. I tend to ride all my horses myself, as then I know exactly how they are going. If we go up the gallops, my other half Johnny rides one, normally only Murphy! I am very lucky to have the support of him as when I’m not here he sorts the yard out. He has 30 horses in training so there no getting away from the four-legged animals. I don’t mind going training or jumping by myself but a friend or mum comes with me to eventing normally. Mum cannot wait to see Murph at Badminton and said if I end up there with Hyacint she would struggle to watch.
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Alice fills us in on her day-to-day life and on how her Badminton preparations are progressing
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Regrettably my hero, who doesn’t wear a cape, will be for sale after Badminton. I’ve had and am still having an awful lot of fun with him and will go back up to novice level eventing until we find the right home — believe me, I will be picky! He is a kid’s dream and who knows what he might become.
On that note before I cry, we are just pulling into the yard to unload. I’m going to go and give Murph as extra big kiss.
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