Lauren Shannon’s blog: Zero Flight saves the day at Belton Horse Trials

  • Hi everyone, hope you all had a good weekend eventing around the country, although I think most of us eventers were at Belton House! The lorry park was full of familiar faces.

    My novice horse owned by Watling JCB, Kilcannon Credit Crunch (Crunchie), performed well on Friday, but a very silly two down in the showjumping put her out of contention for a placing.

    Louie (my Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials ride Zero Flight) did what I thought was a much improved dressage from last weekend, but our score, 60.9, didn’t reflect the test I felt I had done.

    I then did my dressage on Gentel Lux in the intermediate, but she properly threw her teddies out the pram! So Friday at Belton wasn’t the most fulfilling of days for me.

    I hoped for a better day on Saturday, heading back with Lux to jump her in the intermediate. We had the physio out to her on Friday evening to check there was nothing terrible going on in her back and we did enough work on her to make her comfortable for jumping on Saturday. She jumped clear in the showjumping, but was very strong (I think she was feeling a bit better) so I put her in a stronger bit than her normal snaffle for cross-country.

    Unfortunately, I didn’t put a strong enough bit in and she flew off with me! We made it to fence 11 on course before I decided discretion was the better part of valour and pulled her up (which only took 3 circles!). Saturday didn’t really shape up to be any better than Friday, really.

    Luckily, Louie saved the day on Sunday, by storming round with a double clear in the CIC*** (above). He had a few time-penalties, but that was only because he was cruising around so nicely that I didn’t kick him out of his rhythm. His jumping is out of this world and I cannot wait for Badminton now!

    So now the season feels like it’s truly in swing again, with events every weekend from now through the end of June. We are heading to Burnham Market this week and I am running McFly for the first time, so very excited to report back on that.

    On a side note, fellow H&H blogger Gaby Cooke lost her Badminton-bound Sir Roscoe at Belton on Sunday. My thoughts go out to her and everyone in her team, as they have all worked so hard with him and even though he was known as a tricky ride, she was really getting the best out of him. It puts into sharp relief the inherent risk of the sport that we, and our horses, love so much.

    I am sure Gaby will be back to compete at four-star level in the future and my deepest sympathy goes to her at what is undoubtedly a hard time.


    Full report from Belton out in H&H out on Thursday, 5 April.

    Read all Lauren’s diaries

    Lauren’s website

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