Oh NOOOO! Just what I didn’t want to be writing. A sad blog to say that I’ve had to withdraw Willy Do (pictured above doing his dressage test) at the 11th hour.
He just isn’t feeling 100% this morning and to tackle a cross-country course like the one at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials they need to be on flying form so he will be saved for another day.
Perhaps we can put Luhmuhlen on his card instead? I am so lucky to have such supportive owners in the Greenlees family and I am gutted for them that their dream of Badminton will have to be put on hold for now.
On a happier note I was really happy with Animator’s test yesterday (pictured below). His owners Kathy Brown, and Ann and Nigel Taylor were all here to support. Frustratingly he began with some tension in the trot work, proving yet again that Badminton really is in a league of its own with the ‘magic’ that hangs in the air here.
The horses certainly felt it, I thought that on average horses were scoring about five marks worse here than they had at Burghley in the autumn. Not something I’ve worked hard all winter with Gill Watson and Andrew Fletcher to achieve! He redeemed himself in the canter work to end on a respectable 51.5pen.
A last course walk this morning has filled me with confidence to tackle the track and I am certainly not planning to be here to make up numbers. All being well, Animator will be heading out there to make the time and pull up the ranks so Team Jackson can have a Badminton debut to remember for some good reasons, as well as this morning’s disappointments.