I am currently sat on my sofa, watching replays on the BBC of the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, eating Dominos. It still hasn’t sunk in yet quite what we have just achieved. Was it all a dream? Did I actually just jump clear around my first four-star cross-country?!

Yesterday started at 5.30am, so it was a long one. I got Clover out for some grass and a walk out nice and early and trotted her up to see how she was on the foot she lost a shoe on. All was good, so I cracked on making bacon for my amazing support crew while Clover ate her breakfast. Then we headed down to the trot up after a quick scrub up. I honestly get as nervous about the trot ups as I do the cross-country! But we passed and I managed not to trip up in my lovely Holland and Cooper skirt.

Our showjumping round wasn’t perfect — a couple of the distances rode a lot longer than they walked, which resulted in a couple of poles that I would rather not have had, but that’s horses. I was thrilled with how she jumped — she can be casual and she tried really hard. At the end of the day it’s both our first four-star event — it was a big step up, a big atmosphere and lots to take in and we both came home safe and sound. I believe possibly also with our qualification for Badminton…

Continues below…



I’m really grateful for having this opportunity to share my journey with you. It’s been incredible. Reality however is kicking in for tomorrow morning, when I have to be up at 7am to head to work for my old boss for a couple of days on a trade stand. I will definitely be dreaming of my next four-star adventure with both my lovely ponies.

Hazel

Full report from Burghley, including exclusive expert comment and full analysis of every phase, in this week’s Horse & Hound magazine, out Thursday, 6 September.