Kirsty Short’s Badminton first-timer blog: Badminton’s cross-country course looks right up our street, but will we or won’t we?

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It is just under three weeks until the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials! I have even been looking at the cross-country course online. It looks right up mine and Bouncer’s (Cossan Lad) street — big, bold and old fashioned. The only problem is will we get in, or won’t we?

The wait list doesn’t seem to be going down very quickly but as we all know from previous years, there is still time. Burnham Market Horse Trials is this weekend and many of my fellow competitors will be making the big decision afterwards to see whether they will be ready for Badminton in time or not.

I have sent off our forms to Badminton giving all of mine and Bouncer’s information. I have also caught up on paper work now — I have decided to take Cortage to Saumur at the end of May. I didn’t send off Bouncer’s application as I am not re-routing him if we sadly don’t make it in, we will aim for Burghley instead.

Bouncer and Cortie being models

Bouncer is feeling very fit, fresh and feisty which would be fantastic if I hadn’t had woman flu all week. I have however, carried on riding and Bouncer hasn’t missed out on any day’s training.

During the summer months Bouncer lives out at night and as I have three to turn out, Bouncer kindly walks himself to and from the field — if I let him do this then he lets me catch him in the morning — he really is a funny boy.

We have now ridden through the Badminton test I am actually excited. I really like these new tests.

Last week we had an exciting Friday having a photo shoot with one of my sponsors, Teddy Edwards. Bouncer thought that being a super model definitely wasn’t his next career option — he did manage to perform but Cortage was a much better model and will definitely get a recall next time we have a photo shoot. I must say a huge thanks to Teddy Edwards for all their support — it is an exciting venture and the clothes are just fantastic. I think my favourite item has to be the Belvoir coat — it is quilted and waterproof so great for horse trials.

We went cross-country schooling last week. My super five-year-old Kilcoltrim Katxi (Kitty) was amazing. I think she might just be my next top horse. We purchased her from the Monart sale in Ireland in 2015 and is a very exciting prospect for the future.

I also managed some long hacks in the beautiful sunshine we had last week (I actually now have tan lines). With it being the Easter holidays at uni I have had some more spare time. Naturally I spend it on the yard with the horses and I’m sure this means I can consume more chocolate that I usually do (my athlete’s diet).

Cortie

I have been lucky enough to fit some grooming in for the team at home too. We ventured off to Breckenbrough Horse Trials and all the horses performed exceptionally. Niall Griffin and Polly Jackson Griffin (on whose yard I am based) stepped some of their youngsters up to novice and they all went clear with great sub-30 dressage marks. I love a day’s grooming especially when the babies that you knew from breakers are now all grown up.

Next week I am planning on going off showjumping and we have our last run at Kelsall Hill open intermediate. Hopefully we will have a good run and I will update you all on next week’s news.

Kirsty and Bouncer

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