Well it’s all over now and it has been the most amazing experience. I’m so glad we came and I am thrilled with how well Dundee behaved.
Before the trot up this morning I was feeling confident that he was fit and well after yesterday. He passed no problem and it was a lovely surprise to be chosen as the best turned out rider, which won us a year’s supply of wormers.
We were first in to show jump and, although it was the morning session, there were still plenty of people in the stands. There was a good atmosphere without it being ridiculous so that suited us. I was pleased I’ve been jumping 1.30m BSJA tracks as that really helped to get my eye in and made the course look jumpable.
Dundee was very rideable and jumped really well. We had two down and some time penalties, which was quite respectable bearing in mind how much trouble the course caused. There were only two clear rounds.
After the first session of show jumping was completed, the Olympic team paraded in front of the stands. I lent Dundee to William Fox-Pitt for the parade and he said how nice it was to have a horse of the right size to ride! I was a bit nervous about how Dundee would behave as he’s not used to being ridden by other people, but I need not have worried. Then it was time for the parade of competitors, which was really nice to be part of.
While the final rounds of the show jumping were taking place, Olivia Haddow (H&H’s Badminton diarist) and I rode the horses down to Discovery Valley to watch it all on the big screen. Dundee and Fortunesnight both stood like police horses and we had lots of children coming up to say hello and pat them.
Then we rode them back up to the arena for the final presentations. Dundee thought it was so exciting. His eyes were out on stalks at the brass band. Then when we did our lap of honour he took off going past the final row of stands. I though “Oh my god — I can’t steer or stop!” but managed to get control.
Hacking back to the stables was a bit hairy because the vintage aircraft were doing their flypast at the same time. All the horses were completely hyper and there was lots of cantering sideways and trying not to crash into each other going on.
Anyway, we got back in one piece and I popped him back in his stable to calm down and chill out before heading off home.
So that’s the end of my Burghley experience. I’d love to come back again next year. The whole thing has been amazing. It’s so good to know that he can cope with this level of competition. I can’t wait for the next one.