My name is Lauren Brown, I am 24 and based in the Surrey Hills. Blogging isn’t something I have done before, therefore I’m thrilled to have been asked to be this year’s H&H Badminton Science Supplements Cup blogger — there are two things I’d never thought I’d ever say in one sentence!
In order to support the most expensive hobby my family could have ever of got me into, I work full-time as a sales account manager at Horse & Hound. Not only does my life revolve around horses on a personal level, but I also get the pleasure of working for this fantastic publication within an industry I love. I have to say I’m pretty chuffed with my career path.
Now to introduce the star of the show, the horse that I can only describe as a princess, Coco. After a year of searching for a semi-experienced, strictly bay gelding, I decided to buy a four-year-old bay mare… But it was the best decision I could have ever made! Not only does it mean I get an hour extra in bed before any show, as poo stains don’t show up on a brown horse, it has also meant that seven years on, I have managed to change her career path from a pretty show horse to a pretty slow event horse.
Up until January last year, all myself, Coco and my mum (aka the groom/driver/chef/general dogs’ body) knew was showing. However, a year on and we are heading to the grassroots championship at Badminton Horse Trials!
Previously, Coco and I have enjoyed a reasonably successful showing career. In 2018 we came third at the Royal International Horse Show and qualified again in 2019, despite saying I was only going to event — I couldn’t help myself. So last year the aim was for us both to learn how it all works. There have been a few hick-ups on the way such as learning dressage tests, which has not been my strong point AT ALL! But somehow, we winged it to the regionals and squeezed ourselves into the top 20% to get us the golden ticket.
With May feeling like a while away, especially with the recent weather we’ve had, it’s actually not that far away at all when you drill down how many times I’ll event before Badminton. Therefore, in the next couple of months, we will be focusing on us BOTH getting fit. With previously only having to gallop one side of the ring, we have got a lot to learn — seven minutes on a cross-country course sounds intense! We also need to address the fact that Coco is looking in great show condition…
February has been a complete washout. A lot of what I had planned has been cancelled — I’m sure everyone is in the same boat, so to speak. However, I am very fortunate that my instructor has an indoor school, so storm Dennis did not defeat us and I managed to get a grid lesson in along with getting out and running through a dressage test.
So, over the next couple of months, we will be sharing how we’re preparing for Badminton. I’m sure it will be far from plain sailing and a steep learning curve, but we love a challenge (I say this now…!).
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