Coral Keen’s Burghley first-timer blog: trot-up day

  • Derby and I had a hack around the park today (Wednesday 3 September) at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. It’s lovely to ride in such a beautiful setting. I feel very lucky to be here.

    We had a trot around the collecting ring by the main arena and then stood by the entrance for a couple of minutes. I  did some visualisation, imagining going into the arena and I hope Derby was doing the same thing!

    Everyone is so friendly and helpful here. They really want us all to have an enjoyable week. No wonder it’s such a popular event with riders.

    After the briefing I walked the course. It’s big, but it’s Burghley and you expect that. I am really excited because it is all very do-able. There are a couple of places where I might take some long routes, but I will make those decisions tomorrow when I walk the course with Yogi Briesner.

    After I worked Derby on the flat and he felt really good. Then he was bathed and plaited ready for the trot up. The atmosphere was really buzzy and the grandstand was full, but we passed which was a huge relief as several horses were held.

    Derby is very chilled and I think he’s enjoying it as much as me. He’s getting so much attention and loving all the pampering sessions, which has surprised me. I didn’t realise quite how much he adores being the centre of attention! It’s lovely to have so much time with him.

    Tomorrow (Thursday 4 September) I’ll work Derby twice, including with Nick Burton. There are designated areas we can ride in including an arena by the stables.

    It’s so lovely being here and I’m really enjoying it. I’m thankful we did so much preparation before hand in terms of Derby’s programme and my own fitness and mental readiness.

    Today I am feeling really positive and very excited.  I’m not sure whether I will feel that way on Friday evening!

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