Ben Way’s Burghley blog: Hoping to avoid a repeat of last year

  • So, one week on from my opening introduction. I feel like a huge amount has happened in seven days, especially with the ups and downs of the eventing at the Olympics, but as they say that’s horses…!

    I must admit, I nearly fell off my chair when I saw Michael Jung (aka GOD!) make a mistake in the dressage, however as the competition went on he again proved that he is definitely from another planet!

    I do hope that the overall medal haul for Team GB as a whole will safeguard the sport’s Lottery funding. Personally, I believe the support from the World Class and Equine Pathway Programmes are instrumental in the future success of Team GB across the disciplines.

    Both my girlfriend Sarah and I had a very busy few days Aston-le-Walls. It amazes me that no matter how many events Nigel and Anne Taylor run at Aston, they continue to make such an effort with the ground and the track is always slightly different and challenging.

    I had some great rounds on my younger horses, some having their first runs at either novice or intermediate level and they all stepped up to the mark as I had hoped, and kept the (possibly over confident) dream alive that they are all four-star horses in the making. I did however have to wait until the Sunday for a winner with a new horse winning the BE100.

    Sarah also had a winner on the Sunday which topped off a serious run of form for her that week with a winner at the dressage regionals, and her top horse winning the open intermediate at Aston on the Thursday. As a couple, there is not too much of a competitive rivalry and I like to think we work well together. I take great pleasure in watching Sarah have a winner, although I enjoy it more when I am not in the same section. I think that is a bit of a man thing!

    Ben riding Galley Light and his girlfriend Sarah Parkes riding her top horse Balladeer Durban Hills

    Ben riding Galley Light and his girlfriend Sarah Parkes riding her top horse Balladeer Durban Hills

    So onto the point of this whole blog. I had hoped that by the time I had written this, the draw would be out for the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials and I would have a bit more of an idea which day I would be doing my dressage and the cross-country order. However that is going to have to wait until next week. I just hope that I have a Thursday dressage, otherwise its going to be busy Friday with two horses in the Burghley Young Event Horse five-year-old final.

    I also see that the cross-country course preview video is out on the Burghley website. I have purposefully avoided looking at this otherwise I may find myself planning my ride in my sleep far too early.

    I did have a very exited call from the owner of my Burghley horse Galley Light (pictured top at Burghley last year) who had looked at the video and seen that that the Rolex Combination has been altered from last year. I could do without a repeat of that acrobatic display; my forward flip would have given Tom Daley a run for his money!

    Continued below…

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    So the training in the lead up continues and Galley is going to have a good piece of work at National Hunt trainer Dan Skelton’s this week before heading to Somerford Park Horse Trials on Friday, for what I hope will be a nice open intermediate run. It’s going to be a very busy weekend again with seven horses running on Friday and Sunday. However Sarah and I are going to have a “non-eventing” afternoon out on Saturday at the owner’s drinks at Ben Pauling racing.

    So I better get back to work and try and sell some houses! Until next week.


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