Julia Norman’s Burghley first-timer blog: Bobby was baffled

  • Hi all,

    Here’s the next update from me — there’s less than one week to go now until the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, which is both exciting and terrifying!

    I had cross-country lessons with Yogi Breisner last week, focusing on difficult lines, my position, and getting Bobby to listen to me. He was brilliant but quite feisty as we were sharing a lesson with two other horses so he rather thought we were team chasing! It was a good chance to practice with his blood up though.

    Next we had a brilliant time in Scotland at Blair Castle International Horse Trials. It is such an incredible event with beautiful surroundings and really well-built tracks — well worth the journey.

    Carryon Bobby Boy was running in the CCI4*-S, his final run before Burghley. He did a very calm, obedient test to score a competitive 35. I was SO pleased with him — he’s not been the easiest in this phase over the years, having been quite affected by atmospheric arenas, and he has in the past been known to have “red mist” and get quite strong, but he seemed very comfortable and I was very proud of him for staying so calm, obedient and confident. He really nailed both his flying-changes, and it was brilliant to practice these in such an electric atmosphere.

    He was fantastic showjumping too, just rolling one pole round a big track, jumping very well. Cross-country he was his usual amazing self, cruising round, eating it up! To his disappointment I pulled him up at the half way point as planned in order to save his legs for Burghley, but we had some valuable match practice with three big water fences, beautiful big wide tables, combinations and a mini Cottesmore Leap, as well as a good steep pull up the Scottish hills. Bobby was baffled to be pulled up just as he was getting into things, but hopefully our tactic will pay off next week at Burghley and he will be full of running and ready to take on one of the biggest cross-country courses in the world!

    Yesterday we had Tracie Robinson with us at home for dressage training, and we worked through our Burghley dressage test, practising each movement, and making a plan for each element of the test to present the best possible picture.

    Continued below…

    This morning I galloped Bobby early on the Marlborough Downs, before visiting Moloh’s shop in Tetbury to choose my trot-up outfit — it’s all starting to get a bit real!

    Our plan will be to have a final jump at home with Jeremy Scott on Monday, before leaving on Tuesday for Burghley, with the plan being to go for a hack in the evening after we have arrived to stretch Bobby’s legs.

    The cotton wool and bubble wrap will still be out in force until then!


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