Coral Keen’s Burghley first-timer blog: equal 46th after dressage

  • After our dressage test at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, we are lying in equal 46th place with a score of 58.5pen. This isn’t as good as I’d hoped for, but this is our first time at this level and Derby is only 10, which is very young to be competing at this level.

    I have to remember that he’s not that established and there was such a big atmosphere in the arena today. It was packed and every single seat looked full. Derby went in there and didn’t do anything silly. He just tried a little hard and froze on me.

    I am really happy with him. I know he can produce a much better test and the mistakes he made were just green ones and they are all totally forgiveable. Once I polish those out, he will be stunning as the good bits were really very good.

    When I left the arena Spencer Sturmey was there with the microphone on a pole wanting to interview me and the crowd were applauding at the same time, which made him bounce a bit. Spencer had to walk with me, which was amusing. Emily rode Derby back to the stables and he was quite excited so he‘s definitely enjoying it.

    I just feel incredibly lucky to be here. It’s lovely. When you ride into the arena it’s silent and you could hear a pin drop. You are aware there is a crowd, but you are there to do a job, which is ride a dressage test, so although on the outside it probably looks daunting, when you’re actually riding you are just totally focused on the job in hand.

    I walked the cross-country course this afternoon and then in the morning I will walk it again before I give Derby a canter as I’m not on until 2.38pm.

    Now I am off to have a shower before I take some time to let everything sink in a little bit.


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