The release of the British Eventing (BE) fixtures list is always a momentous occasion for any event rider. It represents high excitement, the time to start looking forward to next year, to remember that the cold and wet of winter is only temporary and soon we’ll all be back out flying over cross-country fences, trying to impress dressage judges and hoping to leave all those pesky coloured poles up.
Here are eight questions we all ask ourselves as we look at the list…
1. Tell me it’s not true that my favourite event is scheduled for the same weekend as my brother/sister/best friend’s wedding?
2. What’s the Science Supplements Cup? Oh yes, it’s the grassroots championships at Badminton with a new sponsor.
3. Oh look! The Tokyo Olympics! We can all dream… or at least start planning our TV viewing.
4. Where can I start my season? Will I be balloted if I set my heart on that local, but really popular event? Will my horse be fit enough to run by early March? Should I start his canter work now? Quick, get him in, start clipping…
5. I do love to try an event I haven’t done before… How long would it take me to drive to that fixture that so-and-so told me was really great?
6. Is this the year to aim for my first international event/to try to step up a level/throw everything at it to qualify for the grassroots championships?
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7. Am I brave enough to go back to that event where I had a horrible fall 10 years ago?
8. I finished the season with two events at a higher level — how many events do I need to do at the level below before I step back up? Will I have gotten scared again over the winter? Will my horse remember how to jump that extra 5cm?
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