The event here at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials has finally begun!
We started yesterday off with a big cooked breakfast in the canteen down at the stables (they do cooked breakfasts every morning, plus lunch and dinner for grooms/riders etc).
I then rode Louie (Zero Flight) down at the dressage arena warm-up in the morning sunshine. He worked really well, much more settled than the previous day, despite watching some of the Grassroots Championship competitors competing in between dressage movements. It is great to see the Grassroots competition on in the park alongside us, it makes the early days busier and its good for Louie as it helps to “brighten” him up for his dressage!
I met with my sponsors Tredstep Ireland to do a bit of product endorsement in front of Badminton House. We just filmed a few blurbs about the products and had a bit of a laugh, which doesn’t really feel like work — even Louie had his picture taken alongside the whole Shannon Eventing team in Tredstep gear, very professional!
Louie spent the afternoon being tidied and beautified by Kerry, one of my best friends and Louie’s super groom. Whilst he was bathed and plaited, I went to the riders’ briefing.
This is basically a meeting to reiterate rules and timings during the event. Its also an opportunity for us to ask questions or have issues dealt with. It is in Badminton Village Hall and feels a lot more like a village meeting than a riders briefing (in a good way, obviously).
After this, we trotted up in front of Badminton House. This has, by far, the biggest horse inspection crowd of any event I know, which always adds a bit of atmosphere to the occasion. Louie obviously knew this and bucked before I presented him. He passed no problem though, which is better than me as I’ve got blisters on both feet from running in new shoes! That’ll teach me not to make last-minute purchases.
So now we have a nice, easy day today to get organised to be the trailblazers on Saturday with a 9am dressage. I will work Louie with Judy Bradwell and let him have a nice long hack, as well as one at the end of the day. I’ll also walk the cross-country course, as we didn’t manage any free time yesterday to do that.
I can’t wait to pick up my new Hows Racesafe body protector, which I am very excited about. From the pictures I’ve seen it is very bright, so should work well with my new Kep Hat for cross-country day.
Let the competition begin…!
Lauren will be blogging daily from Badminton this week, so log back on to follow her progress.
Don’t miss the second part of H&H’s Badminton preview — a 16-page pull-out with form guide and a scorecard to fill in for every rider — on sale now.