Every time I drive down the lane approaching the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials and see the carpet of horseboxes, tents and caravans in the event’s campsite, I feel a little frisson of anticipation and a smile plays on my lips. And this year was certainly no different.
Until a few hours ago it had been all about the Rolex Grand Slam contenders and the German champion going head-to-head. Would it be Michael Jung, Andrew Nicholson or William Fox-Pitt who got their name on the famous trophy?
Now a New Zealand first-timer has gone and blown them all away. And that is just one of the things which make the sport of eventing SO exciting. It’s near impossible to predict.
Who would have expected to see Mary King stopped on course and walking home after jumping the wrong side of a flag on the consistent King Temptress? Not me.
Or for the competition to be won – or lost – by the final rider at the final fence of the showjumping phase? Well OK, that has happened before and probably will happen again, but you get my drift.
I admit to being a tad over excited right now as we sit in the press office awaiting the arrival of our winner, Jock Paget (picture centre above), who has insisted on riding his horse back to the stables before attending to his press commitments.
Fair play to the man who has just achieved the biggest win of his career and still puts his horse first I say.
And as the man of the moment arrives, I’d better sign off. What an awesome event it has been. Bring on Badminton Horse Trials 2014. It’s going to have a lot to live up to…