What a week! It hasn’t sunk in yet that we have just done the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. For so long I have dreamt of doing this and now we’ve done it I can’t quite get my head around it.
Ginger looked and felt great this morning (which maybe is because we just had a hack round the cross-country!). He kept us on our toes at the trot-up by being his usual lazy self. Anyway he passed easily and we then had a lovely surprise that Ginger had won the best-kept horse prize so my groom Dave (Burton) won a nice big cheque and an outfit from Mountain Horse.
I plucked up the courage to wear my new dress for the trot-up, although the downside was having to walk the showjumping course with a dress on — that’s definitely a first!
It was all a mad rush to do the showjumping as there was little time between trot-up and showjumping, but thankfully this didn’t allow me time to dwell and get nervous. Ginger jumped a lovely round with just 1 down and 2 time-faults.
I am so relieved Ginger is OK, happy and still jumping well on the last day. He has been a superstar and he has had owner Elaine and myself in tears again today! What an emotional few days this has been. It is lovely that Paul and Elaine Newbert, who own Ginger, have finally got such huge rewards for keeping him and allowing me to continue with him.
However, I wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for JP Sheffield, he pushed me into entering a month ago and said he wasn’t going to stop pestering me until I did so. So really, I owe him a huge thank you for persuading me that Ginge and I were up to the job — and thankfully he was right!
I have also had some great news that I am the best 4-star first-timer. I have won the HSBC FEI Classics training bursary of $1000, so I can look forward to some intensive training over the winter. When I’m trying to make a living it can become difficult to find extra money for all the lessons I would love to have.
Well, this will be the last blog I write — I am no longer a Burghley virgin and Ginger has given me such an incredible experience that I just adore him even more and owe him so much. He is definitely a horse of a lifetime and I couldn’t have hoped for a better partner as I tackled my first 4-star. Burghley has been a blast and I hope I will be here next year to re-live it all again.