Coral Keen’s Burghley first-timer blog: Looking forward to dressage

  • Burghley debutante Coral Keen will be blogging for H&H during this year's Burghley Horse Trials (4-7 September). Follow her journey with Wellshead Fare Opposition aka Derby here.

    I worked Derby on the flat yesterday (4 September) morning and he felt super. I did a lot of stretching with him and he was soft, supple and very relaxed. He’s a very easy horse to work as he always listens and he’s always so giving.

    At 11.30am on Thursday I had my second course walk, this time with Yogi Breisner, and we looked at some of the lines I might ride and made some decisions. We also talked about pace and did the minute markers.

    I had a quick change and then it was time to ride Derby again. Nick Burton came and watched us working by the main arena and he was really pleased. He kept saying what a lovely horse he is which is always nice to hear. He was also really positive and gave me just the right amount of advice before our test today.

    I then did a quick interview with Land Rover Burghley and then had a walk around the tradestands. It was lovely to see Katherine Partis who sorted out my outfits and I was really touched to see that she’d framed the photos I’d sent her from a recent photoshoot and put them up in her tradestand.

    I had a good chat with the girls from Saracen and picked up my air jacket which Point Two had kindly serviced for me.

    Mum and Dad arrived yesterday and it was great to see them and then I went to the main arena on Derby for an hour of familiarization. We walked around on a long rein and Derby was really chilled about it all, more so than on his way back to the stables when he became quite excited.

    Last night I went for cocktails in the big house and had dinner with the Event Riders Association where Headley Britannia was officially entered into the hall of fame.

    I’ll be back on Derby at 8am this morning, Annabel Galt will give him a massage at 9am and then I will plait him up ready for our test at 12.21pm.

    I feel very focused and very relaxed and I am really looking forward to riding my beautiful horse in front of the crowd as I know he will love every minute of it. I’m hoping I do too!

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