Kirsty Short’s Badminton first-timer blog: waiting for that precious phone call

  • Hi everyone,

    I am feel extremely privileged to be asked to blog for Horse & Hound once again on the lead up to Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials 2018. As I write this we are in between showers wishing for the weather to change and eventing to finally start.

    For those of you who don’t know me I am, Kirsty Short (not so short, I’m actually very tall!) and am now the ripe age of 28. My Badminton mount is Cossan Lad (AKA Bouncer); a lovely old fashioned horse by the late Grange Bouncer. He is 15 this time and we are starting our 10th season together.

    We have contested Burghley (pictured top), Luhmuhlen and Pau four-stars together, so we would love to add Badminton to the list. Unfortunately we still have one in front of us on the wait-list until we are actually in, so we are waiting for the phone call to hear that we are definitely going.

    We are based in the very centre of the country in wonderful Leicestershire, so we are very fortunate to have fantastic events such as Belton very close to home.

    Bouncer is an interesting chap. He certainly knows what he likes and doesn’t like. We let him sort of do what he wants — he is now a family pet and gets away with murder. He is an absolute jumping machine across the country. If we ever get 20 penalties it’s not because he is intentionally running out, but more that he has launched too big in to the question and not had enough room to get out. He has the biggest of hearts and truly loves his jumping. Dressage is more of a sore subject — it’s a case of smile and just pray to get through it to get to the next phases.

    I have a small set up with just a few of horses. I like to produce my own and sell a couple. I have support from my family and close friends and I’m also lucky enough to have the support from Teddy Edward Clothing who make lovely clothes and style me for my trot ups, and Apt Cavilier who produce equestrian wear.

    Bouncer in the dressage at Burghley

    I finished university last July and was all ready to get cracking with the young horses when I unfortunately broke both my wrists thanks to a silly fall from a young horse. It meant I couldn’t start the young horses off, but hindsight is a fabulous thing, and the four-year olds didn’t suffer as they were able to grow and develop. So, I was obviously very keen to start eventing this year as last year was a pretty non-existent apart from me being an eventing groupie.

    Everyone’s had an intermittent start to 2018 with the weather however, Bouncer and I kick started the season running in the open novice at Oasby with a double clear. I then planned to give him limited runs this spring and save him for Badminton. So we are now due to go to Belton advanced next weekend. I have been out showjumping I had managed to run my young horse, Kitty, at Lincoln and that’s it. This week we have been cantering on Monday and then training at home. Bouncer has had some good flat work sessions and is due to go back cantering today.

    ’Til next week,

    Kirsty and Bouncer

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