Badminton Horse Trials diary: Gaby Cooke’s Sir Roscoe has ‘blown his nut’

  • Well, here we are again… These weeks really are flying by!

    However, we do have good news, although it’s rather “old new” now. Last week I sent in my diary on Wednesday night, when we were still waiting for the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials entry list to be published (feels like it’s taken years, although it was only a week after entries closed!).

    Funnily enough it was released Thursday morning and to our huge relief Roscoe is third on the wait-list, so I can be pretty sure we’ll get in. Phew. The hair-pulling out can stop now! That’s the first big hurdle over and pretty much done with – now it just a case of getting there in the best form we can.

    It’s been a quieter week for us, despite heading out every day in the lorry. It all started with Draycott last Thursday with Python II in his first “proper” event. Bless him, he was rather an old pro (despite wanting to wiggle around all the dressage boards – must be in the name). He finished double clear and a very creditable fifth. We were all delighted and he’s kept up his good form for his owners.

    Oh Roscoe!

    Between the gallop trips, I’ve managed to get Sir Roscoe out cross-country schooling twice and squeeze in a rather horrific dressage lesson – think he’s still in Lincoln mode. First time cross-country schooling was a bit trying – my gum shield was firmly in place and his martingale a hole tighter than usual… I was not going to lose my teeth this time trying bits!

    I don’t want to speak too soon, but I’m hoping I may have found something that might do the job. We’ll see this weekend – I’m taking it one step at a time.

    Second time round we went to Vale View for a “water” lesson with Caroline Moore. After his horrific fall at Barbury last year I just wanted to make sure he was 100% happy again. Caroline built all sorts of things and combinations into the water, which was all hugely beneficial and something we had to do.

    The only downside of it was that he seems to have “blown his nut” slightly now. It soon became apparent this morning that he wasn’t going to play ball over a cross-pole. OH ROSCOE! Right before Belton as well. All I can do is hope and pray I get back through to him and somehow steer him round both jumping phases safely. Never mind… We’ll know the outcome soon.

    Back to home life and we waved goodbye to little Jack on Monday, he is a lovely horse who was in to be sold on behalf of a friend. Wishing him the best of luck to his new home – which is wonderful one! As one goes out another must replace and we’ve decided it’s the turn of Dante, a four-year-old mare. Unfortunately this one is to produce to sell no matter what, whether it’s showjumping or eventing. Her technique was pretty smart over the one little cross-pole I jumped on her last year.

    Any ideas for Afghanistan?

    Not a lot of news has come back from Afghanistan – I keep missing my boyfriend Jeremy’s calls, no matter how hard I try not to. Very frustrating! I’ve been a rather bad girlfriend for not only missing his calls but also not sending a parcel yet. Whoops! The hints keep coming in, but what he doesn’t know is that there is a whopper in preparation.

    When I haven’t been thinking about a new scary contraption for Roscoe’s brakes, I’ve been racking my brains as to what to send. The only no-nos are the obvious – alcohol and things that melt. So I’ve been trying to get away from just the food side of it and haven’t done too well… I fished out my ancient brick of an old school Gameboy, a good pack of cards and a book. Any and all ideas are welcome…? This is only the first parcel and I’ve already played all my trump cards.

    Hopefully we’ll have a good time this weekend at Belton. Broadway Star is having another intermediate run, which will be the decider as to where to aim him next. Roscoe is in the CIC*** and well, we just basically don’t want to embarrass ourselves. A nice safe confident round will do at this stage. With brakes of course!


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