The main news from today (Wednesday 2 September) is that Derby (Wellshead Fare Opposition) passed the first trot-up with flying colours. He was a bit of a handful walking up there as he’s very pleased to be back at Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials and is finding it all very exciting!
I was very lucky to be dressed by Katherine Partis, who does such a great job at helping me to look the part.
Derby looked amazing and that’s thanks in no small part to all the nutritional advice I get from my sponsors Saracen, plus SG (short for Super Groom) Alex Van Tuyll (pictured with Derby and I below), who is amazing at turnout.
I had my first look at the cross-country course with Beanie Sturgis and Emily Lechore (pictured below). We were very relaxed and larked about taking lots of pictures, jumping in the ditches and laying on top of the fences to make them look even bigger than they already are!
My initial impression is that it is big, bold and technical, but it is Burghley. I’d studied the video beforehand and some fences which looked enormous on screen are actually smaller in reality, while others that looked relatively straight forward are in fact huge.
I’ve walked all the long routes and various options, but I haven’t made any firm decisions yet.
Derby had a pick of grass this morning before I hacked him around the deer park, which is the other side of the house and shows it from a different perspective. It’s stunning.
This afternoon I rode him up to the main arena so that he can get used to it up there and then worked him on the flat, stretching him and doing some lateral work.
All in all its been a really busy day, even though I only have one horse here. The time just seems to fly. I still feel very relaxed about it all, but I think that might change tomorrow when reality kicks in and the competition starts. My dressage isn’t until 11.26am on Friday, so I’ve got another day to go until Derby gets to strut his stuff.