Danielle Dunn’s Badminton first-timer blog: ‘she banged at her door and dragged me to the field’

  • Hey guys,

    So we are into April now which means in four week’s time Zocarla BLH (Zo) and I will be at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials! Hopefully all will have gone smoothly at the first vets’ inspection on the Wednesday, and then the dressage and today will be cross-country day! It’s really so close now, and feeling very real.

    I had three horses running at Belton international horse trials last weekend (the three horses Zocarla BLH, Polar Fox and Grandslam with Danielle at Belton), and it was a great weekend indeed. I had so much fun on three incredibly classy horses.

    The main girl Zo had a great prep run for Badminton in the CIC3* Grantham Cup. She was extremely excited to be at a big party, and so a few tense moments in the dressage dropped us off a few points to where I had aimed to be. It’s all a process though and I was pleased with the improvement in the movements we had particularly concentrated on during the winter to improve from last year. New issues arose in the arena, but that’s dressage for you!

    Me at Belton with Zo, Polar Fox and Grandslam

    Zo felt mega in the jumping phases (pictured top), making some of the tricky lines feel straightforward — a really good confidence booster as May approaches. She has come away from Belton looking very well. In fact she was so buzzed up on Monday morning she didn’t look at her breakfast, and proceeded to bang at her door until she dragged me to the field — definitely a diva moment! She has now come down off cloud nine, and normal chilled Zo is back. It was wonderful to see her feeling that good after running around a three-star.

    Continued below…

    Coming up this week, we have dressage lessons and a trip to Tweseldown to cross-country school with the legendary Lucinda Green. Zocarla will have a trip to the gallops — one of my favourite things to do! Tomorrow I have Polar Fox running in the intermediate at Weston Park, then a slight change from the day job on Tuesday evening as I am part of the Willberry does Badminton evening. There are many of my idols there too so to be sat among them, answering questions is going to be a slightly strange feeling! It’s for an amazing charity, and tickets have completely sold out but it’s not too late to be involved as there is an online auction so do get bidding.

    I look forward to updating you all on my week’s antics next week.


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