Yesterday (31 August) was a relatively steady day at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, and mainly consisted of walking the cross-country course and wandering round all the shops. I hacked Clover a couple of times and she is fit and raring to go. I’m trying not to get her adrenaline up by doing too much, and have avoided the cross-country jumps as it will only wind her up.

Reflecting back on Thursday’s dressage performance, I was pleased with how we both dealt with unfamiliar atmosphere. Despite the cocktail of adrenaline, nerves and the pressure of performing in front of the grandstand, we both kept our cool and didn’t let it get to us. Even with my error of course, I felt I recovered well and didn’t let it spoil the rest of the test. I was actually laughing at myself as I knew it was quite likely to happen. On Thursday night we celebrated surviving my first four-star test with a few proseccos and a trip to Burghley House for some canapes and champagne on the lawn. This was a lovely experience but I was equally as content getting back to the lorry with my friends and sister to sing some Disney and carry on the celebrations.

Walking the course with mum, who has a broken leg

Continues below…



I have my cross-country start time and will be heading out on to the course at 12.35pm today. I’m quite happy about going early as it leaves less time to get nervous — there’s nothing worse than sitting around, watching everyone else, waiting for your turn to go. Hopefully it won’t be too hot, but what will be will be.

Now there’s time for one final course walk. I haven’t slept the best the past couple of nights, partly due to some local snorers, partly due to the rather uncomfy bed I’m staying in so someone has donated me some ear pugs! Roll on cross-country time!

Hazel

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