Simon Grieve’s eventing blog: Burghley is like Christmas and PC Camp rolled into one

  • Thank you so much for the concern from everyone over Bob. He is thankfully home, looking really good and will live to fight anther day, but will sadly miss the Burghley Young Event Horse Final this week. He has told me he would have won, but just wanted to give everyone else a fighting chance.

    In other news, we made the long journey to Wellington at the weekend. What a super event. The ground was brilliant, with great courses and brilliant organisation. King (Traveller Royale) contested his first three-star, and did not disappoint. We have not quite (very nearly) mastered flying changes, which are a work in progress, but he did a very respectable job, show jumped really well and stormed round a serious track. I’m so excited for his owner Roly Wilcox, who absolutely adores this horse. He has a serious amount of scope and ability when he puts his mind to it and has a very fun future ahead.

    The long journey home was made more entertaining by overtaking Izzy Taylor down the A43. I think it’s the first and probably last time I will ever be faster than her… one of the most speedy riders on the circuit.

    The next day I took three horses to Prestwold Hall, a lovely little event not far from us in Leicestershire. It rained like hell most of the day, but Jo Rutter’s Vinnie (The Rutman) and Holly Gillott’s Chunky (Up And Over) went well, if quite steadily in the wet conditions for lower placings. They are becoming more and more confident in their work, and I’m really enjoying riding such a talented pair. Lilly (Gallifords Orchid) contested the four-year-old class, but we decided to withdraw her before cross-country as the ground was very wet. She has only ever been to one show before and not been jumping for long, so I didn’t want to scare or upset her.

    So on returning home, it was time to get everything polished and prepped for Burghley the following day.

    Continued below…

    How could swimming help my horse?

    H&H blogger Simon Grieve heads to Moulton College in Northamptonshire to give his Burghley ride Cornacrew (Bozzie) his final swim

    Time for Burghley

    We are here!! Bozzie (Cornacrew) is very excited – we both are, as we absolutely love this event. The atmosphere is wonderful, even on arrival. The park is stunning and it’s such an honour and privilege to be here competing alongside and against the very best riders in our sport.

    I have borrowed a friends posh lorry that actually has living accommodation (no slumming it this week for a change) and so am feeling very spoilt! And we’re parked next to the one and only Michael Jung…

    Simon is parked next to Michael Jung in the Burghley lorry park

    Simon is parked next to Michael Jung in the Burghley lorry park

    Arriving here is like Christmas Day and Pony Club camp rolled into one. There’s a goody bag/stocking for both myself and Kathryn (one of my best friends who is helping me this week) and now all the wrappers and bags now adorn the floor of said posh lorry in our excitement to open our presents.

    Burghley goodies

    Burghley goodies in our posh lorry

    It’s been noted that there should be a parent and partner goody bag too, which should consist of whisky or vodka for Dutch courage and stick on eyes for when they have their eyes closed watching their nearest and dearest!

    Moving our ponies and gear into the stables is like a VIP Pony Club camp. We’re excited to see our friends and a bit in awe of the bigger kids (or in this case the William Fox-Pitts and Mark Todds of this world) and finding out who we’re stabled next to. For me it’s the lovely Willa Newton and Izzy Taylor, who sadly won’t be coming as her pony is now going to the Pony Club Champs (well, European Eventing Championships at Blair actually) next week instead.

    Looking forward to a fun time and getting our glad rags out for the trot up at 1600. Over and out until later!


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