First-timer’s countdown to Badminton: three days to go

  • So here I am, just about to start packing the lorry for Badminton — it all feels a bit surreal to be honest!

    The weekend has simply flown by. I was busy at Withington with Bailey (Safehome) and Axil (Cool Dancer), while Filius had a nice quiet weekend at home — he wasn’t too amused about being left behind I can tell you, despite enjoying a lovely shiatsu masage on Friday.

    I worked both the horses when we arrived at Withington and walked the course before going to stay with a friend, Niall Fergusson, where we had a very delicious supper!

    Bailey was first to go in his section. He was very good and ended up in eighth place; he’s such a fun horse to ride you always feel like smiling. I thought I had been quite quick across country, but ended up with 12 time faults so perhaps not!

    Axil was doing his first intermediate, but he felt really flat in the dressage and show jumping so I decided to withdraw him before going cross-country. He’s (hopefully) got lots more ahead of him so better to wait until another day.

    Once the lorry is packed we will be heading off to Ian’s to put some last-minute polish on those flying changes. Filius also needs to have his feathers trimmed before we leave — he grows proper full feathers thanks to the Gypsy Cob blood in him! Once Mum’s been at him with the clippers, he will look all nice and handsome ready for his big week.

    It’s not only Filius who has been having a spruce up. I’ve had to dig deep into my wardrobe to find something suitable for the trot-up. I’m not telling you what I’ve decided to wear — you will have to wait and see!

    Thank you for all the lovely messages you have been sending. It’s amazing how much people care about a Badminton first-timer and her naughty little coloured cob. I hope I won’t let you down.

    See you at Badminton, Olivia

    Stay in touch with Olivia’s highs and lows during Badminton week with daily updates, including a video diary, on Horseandhound.co.uk

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