As Bozzie and I walked through the archway past Badminton House and out into the great park, my heart skipped a beat. Suddenly I realised that from nowhere, I had this ridiculously stupid, cheesy and broad grin across my face. It was such an amazing moment… ‘we’re at Badminton!’. I turned to some complete strangers walking their dog (who, judging by their faces thought I was mad), and exclaimed: ‘This is SO cool!’.

Simon-badminton1As you may have guessed, Bozzie and I have arrived at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials. It’s been a fairly stressful couple of weeks, but we have made it.

I’m not sure that the preparation for a CCI4* ever goes 100% according to plan, as there’s always something to throw a spanner in the works, but I’m pleased to tell you that Bozzie is happy in his new house next to Ben Hobday’s Mulrys Error and Dani Evans’ Raphael.

Actually he’s completely insane and was wild coming back from his hack down past the lake, which made taking the all important Badminton ‘selfie’ (below) bordering on impossible. He’s feeling so well and blissfully happy at being out and about, which is wonderful.

Simon-badminton2I didn’t have a great time at Withington with a few issues in the showjumping/ It was a real shame, as its a super event. I was more concerned to hear of Pippa Funnell’s fall there and felt so sorry for her and all connections when I discovered this morning that she has withdrawn from Badminton as a result. I hope she makes a speedy recovery as judging by the showjumping rounds she rode before her fall, she is on fire at the moment. I was equally surprised and disappointed to hear of Andrew Nicholson’s withdrawal, but his reasons are so sensible – respect!

I was also sad to hear of Emma Hyslop-Webb’s withdrawal due to an over reach. She’s an old friend, works very hard and it seems incredibly unfair to have such bad luck so close to the event, but she will be back all guns blazing I have no doubt.

The younger horses have been busy and having mixed results, but everyone will be pleased to know Bob (Wish He Was Yours) – who you may remember we nearly lost to colic last year – jumped a double clear in his first event, which is really exciting for his owners, Gemma Hill and Helen Jarman. He’s on great form and a class horse.

I’ll keep you posted on how my boy and I are getting on. It’s intimidating and exciting in equal measures!

Grievesy