The Badminton journey got off to an incredible start but we didn't quite arrive at the destination we were hoping for. Firstly a big thank you to everyone that has supported us on the 4* journey, it has been a huge team effort to get this far.
The Trot Up...
I was lucky enough to meet Lucy from The Pesky Partridge at Belton, who made me the beautiful and very bespoke waistcoat. Combined with an Oxford Shirt Company shirt and Fairfax & Favour Chelsea boots we certainly looked the part. It was obviously the Uvex glasses that topped the look off though.
A 29.5!!! What a start! Louis went in the arena and really did me proud. What more could we ask for?! I was just so impressed with his attitude in the arena, it was all we could have hoped for.
To get a 9 and a sub 30 in a 4* test was absolutely incredible. We were sitting in 29th going into cross-country - for a first Badminton and only our second 4* that was pretty special.
I'd walked the course and there were certainly quite a few questions, but it wouldn't have been Badminton if there weren't. I was really looking forward to just getting out there and giving it our best shot.
Louis can be a bit of an inward character and the crowds and atmosphere on the Saturday meant he didn’t come out of his shell and wasn’t his usual self. He was just a little bit green and tight and a bit worried about all of the spectators. With a couple of long routes behind us he was jumping well he just didn't really lock on to the Vicarage V at the last minute. Ending up on the floor the other side of the ditch wasn't really what we had planned.
We were both fine. Luckily it looked a lot worse than it actually was. Louis was fully checked over by the vet and was 100% ok. My knee was very painful and swollen but nothing broken - other than the fence, which I seemed to break with my leg!
Thank you to everyone who sent us messages of congratulations and concern,
hopefully next year he will know what to expect and not be so shocked by it all and we'll be back to complete our Badminton dream next year.
The 2018 season is underway and we've had some very promising runs already. The whole team is working very hard, with horses being plaited, tidied up, and treated to a session with the fantastic Winston Williams - South West Chiropractic Ltd, as well as a visit from the dentist, George Bolt, to ensure that they are feeling on top form!
We have been training at Tweseldown Cross Country Course, which was great to get on grass and the ground was amazing! A couple of trips out to compete at Summerhouse in the Newcomers and Foxhunter proved to be successful and left me very pleased! We also took Chakiris Star to the gallops in late February in a build up to Tweseldown.
The 4 year-olds have arrived home very confident and ready to crack on with their eduction. They have been given a make-over by Beckie (our super groom) and behaved impeccibly, so now we can get them out to Spellings schooling and ready for some training shows.
The Beast from the East tried to stop us by cancelling a dressage competition, but after a couple of duvet days for the horses, we managed to get them back out training. In mid-March we had a great afternoon training with Richard Waygood. The horses went really well and the sun shone!
Tweseldown was a good day with Chakiris Star and Ellfield Voyager. Chakiris Star was the first to go in his section, scoring a 29.3 dressage with a few tense moments. In the Show Jumping he rolled a pole, which was causing a lot of fences due to the ground. A lovely steady clear in the Cross Country left us in 12th! Ellfield Voyager found it all very exciting, producing an interesting dressage, 8 faults in the Show Jumping and a steady clear XC.
Next was Aldon international Horse Trials, which was great, but very cold! For Ellfield Grafifi and Wisbeach Cevin Z Pride it was their first runs of the season. Both were fresh in the dressage, with Ellfield Grafifi scoring 31 in the Novice and jumping a lovely steady double clear to finish 10th! Wisbeach Cevin Z Pride was in the BE100 and also scored 31 in the dressage, as well as a double clear to finish 4th! It was a great start for both of them.
Our most to date event is Gatcombe and Ellfield Grafifi took to her first Intermediate well. She was put into the OI, scoring 31.8 in the dressage, rolling a pole in the Show Jumping and finished the day with a beautiful steady clear Cross Country, adding 20 time penalties to give her a good ride! She finished 11th in very good company, her next stop is Bicton 2*.