Friday, 29 April 2011

Walmart & Rolex

Hello Lexington!

The odometer on my car ticked up to 200,000 kilometres as I drove to the airport for this trip to the US, my 5th or 6th trip in as many months, and I’m back again later this month, so my air miles odometer is racking up nicely too. The prospect of a move to the US for a few years still has me nervous, and also excited, but I doubt my travelling days will end, they’ll hopefully just slow down a little with a trip back to Europe every month or two. As I’m planning to be not a million miles from Lexington, I’m also chalking some of this trip up to research – well at least that’s what I’m telling myself.

For the first time Rolex presented me with an opportunity to visit this leg of the Grand Slam, not least because this year’s Badminton ran before Rolex. Having brought a few DVDs of the TV coverage with me to watch on the plane trips, Badminton is still fresh in my mind, so in amongst the cloud of thoughts from my business meetings whilst over here, I’m getting ‘pumped’ for Rolex - as the Americans would say!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

William Fox-Pitt Isn't Retiring - Unofficially

The New Fox-Pitt Luxury Liner
Mark Todd doubted it, and after today I agree! In a recent interview William Fox-Pitt indicated he was giving up after London 2012, soon after that interview Mark Todd said he doubted it would happen having seen William out buying more young horses, and today William turned up to Larkhill Horse Trials in a shiny new horsebox, the cost of which would probably cover the GDP of a small African nation. So I for one will need a little more convincing. Perhaps he's just planning a comeback, without the need to comeback!

I attended Larkhill for a special filming mission which didn't really work out, but it wasn't a completely wasted trip as I hadn't been here for some years, and it's a lovely event for the lower level horses - relatively flat and fabulous ancient turf on an established point-to-point course. A good early season pre-novice and novice event sat in the middle of Salisbury Plain. The drive down from Marlborough takes you through some 'chocolate box' countryside too, but if you're unfortunate enough to be travelling from the south or south west you have the traffic congestion around Stonehenge to contend with in the last few miles.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Man, What A Week!

Badminton | It looks tranquil, but just to the left.....
I'm starting to sound like I live in the States already. "The world's gone and got itself in a big damn hurry" It's a line from one of my favourite films [movies], The Shawshank Redemption, and sums up the last few days for me. This week has flown by and I haven't done a bunch of things I planned, but what an exciting week. Wednesday brought fabulous weather and car problems on my way down to Badminton for the annual unveiling of the cross country course.

With just 2 weeks to go everything, at Badminton is lush, green and a hive of activity! The area in front of the house is purposefully keep peaceful and tranquil, even during the build up to the event, strict orders from the Duke.

 Lots of people always say the Badminton course doesn't change much year to year, and it's easier than Burghley, but without fail this course walks easier than it rides, and more of the top ten riders win Burghley than they do Badminton. This could be for a variety of reasons, like it's position in the calendar, weather etc, etc.