Tina Cook’s Express Eventing diary: less than 10 days to go

  • I can’t believe how manic everything is at the moment. Between getting Miners Frolic (Henry) and First Flight II (Brendon) ready for Cardiff, and riding out a couple of racehorses for my brother each day, the time is passing in a blur. One day merges into the next and suddenly Express Eventing is less than 10 days away.

    The good news is that both of the horses are currently on good form. They have been cantering and jumping well at home. As neither of them have had a run recently – Henry has been on holiday since Hong Kong and Brendon’s last run was at Brightling in July – I will be taking them for a cross-country school next week. This will give them the chance to splash through some water before the big day.

    I went over to see Dane Rawlings, my dressage-to-music DJ, on Wednesday and spent a couple of hours with both horses working on the music. We are very nearly there now and I’m heading back to put the finishing touches to the music today (Friday). It’s worth me travelling to Dane’s as he has all the state-of-the-art high-tech editing equipment on site. It’s much more complicated than my little CD player – I wouldn’t know where to start!

    At the moment I still haven’t decided which of the horses I’m going to take. Knowing what horses are like, if I back off one of them and focus on the other, the one I am preparing is bound to have some silly whoopsy the day before. So I am going to carry on preparing them both so I can decide at the last possible minute.

    It’s going to be a very busy weekend for everyone involved. There is a rugby match taking place at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday so the organisers aren’t going to be able to start setting up until after that has finished. I think they are going to have to work through the night!

    The riders have a special dinner to look forward to the night before, but we have to be ready for the arena walk at 7am on Sunday morning so can’t drink too much free Champagne! After the early morning arena walk, the riders will get their chance to walk the jumping course. We will have to assess the questions that have been asked and decide what is going to be the best track as there are going to be a number of options along the way. It’s going to be a full on, action-packed weekend. I’m really excited and can’t wait!

    See you there.


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