Well, we made it… here we are, Team Jackson with two horses at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials. A dream come true and the culmination of a lot of hard work by a huge number of people, THANK YOU ALL.
Thankfully the trot-up passed without a hitch and I was honoured to be able to pass a compliment from the chairman of the ground jury Sandy Phillips to my chief in charge Fran Denning on her beautiful plaits!
Rather disappointingly, Willy Do got a touch of the big-stage nerves today resulting in major brain freeze throughout his canter work for 63.3 at his first Badminton.
The question, “why now?” always begs to be asked — perhaps I worked him in for a shade too long? Perhaps his somewhat fraught build-up to the competition caught up with us in the end, but for certain we’ll be working on it as this boy has the ability to be up there with those leaders!
I am in the hugely fortunate position of being able to “have another go tomorrow” as Animator is due to go at 3.38pm. I have walked the cross-country course twice so far and think that the ground looks perfect and the course, although not quite as big as Burghley, is plenty technical enough for my pair of ponies.
So I very much look forward to a happier blog tomorrow afternoon, and will be doing my best to finish without any further addition to those dressage penalties at the end of the show!