A successful flutter at Badminton Horse Trials?

  • I’m thrilled that two of the three horses I’ve had a flutter on are in the top four after dressage. Most exciting is Hinrich Romeike, third with Marius Voigt-Logistik. Not only did I think he was a good price — 14/1 prior to his dressage for a pair who’ve finished in the top six at their last two championships — but I’m buying into the dream.

    Because German team stalwart Hinrich is a dentist. A full-time dentist. Last year at Luhmuhlen he told me he had a young horse as well as Marius, and that on the weekend he “sometimes rides two horses, but never a third.”

    In this age of consummate professionalism, I find it exciting that someone with an unhorsey job can still break into the sport’s upper echelons. It gives hope to all of us who strive to compete, at whatever level, around other commitments.

    Another highlight today was seeing the 19-year-old Over To You looking so pleased with himself in the dressage arena. I hope my 15-year-old novice eventer looks as good in four years time.

    On a graver note, I took a wander around the course at lunchtime. A lot of topsoil has been laid and you can feel the difference underfoot where they’ve been aerovating. But will it be enough?

    The mood is edgy — some riders say they’re going whatever, but most are waiting to decide tomorrow. I don’t imagine that makes for an easy night’s sleep. It must be even worse than jumping the Vicarage Vee in your dreams trying to weigh up thousands of pounds of prize-money, prestige and a possible team place against whether there’s a risk to your best horse’s welfare.

    I honestly don’t know how many runners there will be, but I’m sure whatever I’ll have a good story for you by this time tomorrow.

    I’d better go now because I have to buy my mum a birthday present before the shops shut. I would tell you what I’m getting her — but I can’t because she might read this. Sorry. Ask me on Monday after I’ve handed it over…

    Stay in touch with all the latest from Badminton on Horseandhound.co.uk with twice daily reports from H&H eventing editor Pippa Roome; blogs from H&H Editor Lucy Higginson and Pippa Roome; a daily round up of the best shopping bargains; and a picture gallery of Badminton Horse Trials highlights after the event.

    Don’t miss Horse & Hound’s full 18-page magazine report, including fantastic photographs capturing the best of the action, a run down on the problem cross-country fences, former Badminton winner Ginny Elliot’s view of the winning performance and the final scoreboard, on sale 10 May ’07.

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