Danielle Dunn’s Badminton first-timer blog: Good, old fashioned kicking on will be required

  • Hi there guys,

    So it’s been a great week. As I write this, I’m sat in the truck up at Burnham Market Horse Trials in Norfolk. It’s been a busy one this week! The awesome ‘Super Duper Cooper’ (Polar Fox) gained his qualification at Weston Park Horse Trials for CCI2* level, and I choose Tattersalls in Ireland! Fun, fun, fun! He even got a 10 in the dressage — that’s my boy! It must have been a lady judge because he is quite the babe magnet.

    My Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials bound girl Zocarla BLH (Zo, pictured top at Belton) has been training hard and did a fab gallop session on Saturday and lots of the old dressage stuff too. At the moment it is all about the repetition and consistency with the training, to fine tune what we already have. She’s been having regular physio sessions too, which she really responds well to and it helps loosen her up after a big gallop day. I also think it’s really nice for her to have a massage and a bit of a pamper because it makes her feel good, and after all, who doesn’t like a bit of pampering?! She went to Burnham Market for some dressage and showjumping practice, but like many others also heading to the ‘Big B’ we’re saving her cross-country run for the main event.

    On Tuesday evening I was so honoured to be a part of the Willberry does Badminton evening where I was on the panel with some absolute legends. It’s not every day you get to sit in between Mark Todd and Kitty King. It was a Badminton preview evening, raising funds for Hannah’s Willberry the Wonder Pony charity. However, I was quite nervous because I would be much happier riding in front of thousands rather than speaking to a room full of 300 people! But it actually turned out fun and went well — I enjoyed it immensely. I was completely bowled over by the stunning jacket that Helena Smith from Charleston Couture designed and made for me. It was a privilege to wear and I felt a million dollars in it. To top it all, the evening raised a huge amount of money so it was just brilliant all round.

    Continued below…

    Everyone at Burnham was talking about the Badminton cross-country course preview. I have, rather embarrassingly, dropped my phone down the loo so haven’t actually seen it yet! But I’ve heard it’s quite a track, bringing back the traditional Badminton edge which is what you’d expect from course designer Eric Winter really. I’m glad I hunted a lot as a child, I think the good old fashioned kick on method is going to be needed!

    I really can’t wait now.

    Speak to you all next week.


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