Sara Squires’ Burghley diary: 14 days to go

  • I am pleased to report we had quite a good weekend at Thirlestane. Sky [Star Prospect] produced the best test she has ever done to stand 12th after dressage, which was a great start.

    Unfortunately we then had 3 down in the show jumping, but it was a tough course and there were only 5 clears across the advanced classes so I wasn’t too disappointed. The track was big, the poles light and the ground deep, while the going in the warm up was horrendous, so we did OK.

    We didn’t go that quick across country but finished 14th. I was pleased with how Sky jumped as the course didn’t really suit her. The fences came thick and fast and she is quite strong so I felt I was constantly pulling her around. But she was accurate and jumped all the straight routes.

    There were plenty of ditches and a big drop, so it was all good preparation for Burghley. Longer courses that give us time to get settled into a rhythm normally suit us best, so fingers crossed that will be the case next month.

    I’m glad I made the effort to go to Thirlestane as I was also entered for Highclere but that has been cancelled, so it will be a case of just keeping Sky ticking over at home until the big day now.

    I’ve had a jump lesson with Eric Winter [course designer at the Blenheim Horse Trials] this week and have a flatwork session with his wife Elizabeth planned. We will also be doing some canter work and probably some gymnastic jumping to keep Sky thinking, but it’s important to keep her sweet and not pressurise her as the big event gets closer.

    Everyone around me is getting very excited now, but I can’t allow myself to get excited until she is on the lorry and we are on our way. While Sky is a very tough and sound horse normally, you just don’t know what might happen!

    Speak soon,


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