Welcome to my Olympic countdown diary. Here we are, just weeks away from the Olympics and I am in the very lucky position of having two horses available for the Games. I was thrilled to bits when I heard I had been selected with Call Again Cavalier (Cavvy) and Imperial Cavalier (Archie), who are both owned by Eddie and Sue Davies with Janette Chinn.
Cavvy had a great year in 2007, winning the individual European silver, while Archie was a new ride for me last autumn. When he finished second in the four-star event at Pau, I knew he could be an Olympic horse.
It was really exciting to have Cavvy back in action at Burnham Market in the spring, where he led the dressage, jumped double clear and finished third. It was lovely having him out again to compete — he is such a super horse.
More recently both horses ran really well at Salperton in the advanced intermediate. Cavvy lead after dressage again, and jumped a great double clear. We didn’t go very fast, but he cruised round to finish third. And Archie was fifth so that was another event over with on the way to the Games.
It hasn’t all been plain sailing for the team though. It was a huge shock when I heard Zara’s terrible news. I’m absolutely gutted for her. After missing the last Olympics with an injury to Toytown, I can’t believe it’s happened again. She is a fantastic girl though — very cool and calm — and has been around horses long enough to know that’s just how things go sometimes.
And as thrilled as I was for myself when the team was announced, I was over the moon for Lucy [Wiegersma] when Badminton went well and she got selected. She works very, very hard as a rider and has been at it for a number of years. It’s devastating that Shaabrak’s poisoned foot has ruled her out.
Looking ahead to Barbury this weekend, both of my Olympic horses will run fairly competitively as you can only get them so fit at home and competing puts the edge on their fitness. I’m really looking forward to it. Plus the Olympic team riders will ride the Olympic test on their Olympic horses on the Saturday, which will be good practice for us riders and a great opportunity for the crowds.
See you all there.