Day two at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials and dressage day for us is complete. Clover dealt with the atmosphere incredibly it was electric! After a good, but slightly tense warm-up, I was ready to go onto the main stage with my top lady. She heard the applause from the person before and obviously assumed it was for her.

The first part of the test went really well — she felt soft and relaxed and, despite the crowd, she was listening. I was so focussed on how lovely her trot was, I had a minor brain fart and missed her next movement. I’m only human after all. Despite this, I’m so proud of her — she felt incredible.

This is our first four-star event — the cameras and the view were bigger than anything she’s has ever seen (literally, she was trying to peek over the grandstand!).

She was the happiest pony alive on the walk back to the stables; it’s worth noting that the walk back to the stables passes the cross-country fences… she obviously knows what’s coming next (which is great for me, but terrible for my grooms who were running to keep up, with the knowledge that if I get back first, she will slobber all over my fancy jacket and there would be hell to pay and there will be more cleaning to be done!).

Continues below…



I know this is a competition and I want to do the best I can. But at the end of the day, I am here, with all these amazing teams who have worked so hard to get here, and I’m lucky enough to be with my best friend — we’ve made it. She loves the cross-country, the next part is our favourite bit… so everyone, please watch this space…

Hazel

You can read the full Burghley report in next week’s Horse & Hound magazine (Thursday 6 September).