Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Who Stole Spring? Who cares - Rise Up Singing!

Michael Jung
This time of year more than any other is a complete pain in rear for so many reasons! The constant flux in the weather plays havoc with all manner of plans, as spring tries to kick start itself out of winter.

This time last year my children were enjoying time on the beach in 20c heat, and this year it's snowing! March is my traditional 'serious build up' to Badminton. As entries close, the cross country course is finally set in stone (almost) following a TD visit, and the press preview day looms closer.

All sorts of information needs crunching in preparation for updates to the website, mobile apps etc. etc. It's intense, and intensely exciting!

If you've been following the news around the entry list for the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, you'll know there's quite a lot to get excited about, apart from the fact we've all missed having the event in 2012, not least of which are:

  • Michael Jung, (reining World, European & Olympic Champion) is making his Badminton debut, and both of the horses he has entered have just made an impressive start to the season coming 1st & 3rd in a 3 star event in France. This has to be the man to beat. 
  • The man above is probably the biggest single threat to William Fox-Pitt's tilt at the Rolex Grand Slam, and the Rolex Grand Slam is not something you can plan for, it's like waiting for the stars to align. 

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Momentos, Memorabilia & "Souvenir Hunting"

The Unused Winner's Rug From 2012
I Love Stickers!
I must confess, when it comes to momentos of life's little experiences, I'm a sucker! Like many of us who event, I will always go home from an event with a photo or two to remind me of the day, even if it was a bad day. My rosettes (or at least the ones I haven't lost in transit or a house move) hang proudly tucked away somewhere in the house, and I've kept every wrist band from every three day I've ever been to. I even still have my Olympics pass. I've collected stickers for my laptop from all the places I've visited. The laptop I'm using right now has stickers from across the US, and my bland looking suitcase has a sticker from the 2011 European Eventing Championships which helps avoid others walking off with it at the baggage reclaim. Stickers are a great marketing give away especially for events.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Tweseldown - The Start, The Stars & The Silver Lining

Tweseldown Racecourse - Eventing Continues Whilst Point-To-Point Racing Is No More
Tweseldown's sad demise as a Point-To-Point course last year due to financial pressures did have a silver lining in the form of an improved course for the Open Intermediate classes. With no racing, much more of the turf course has been made available for eventing, including a new start, which I for one think is a godsend. The old start box was a messy affair stuck in the middle of site with sandy tracks leading off in all directions.

Noble Bestman Gets The OI Classes Started In The Mist
It's never been a favourite course of mine personally, but it does usually provide an assured first run in the south for those heading to Badminton, and whilst I can't identify any of them, quite a few of the entries we have for Badminton were out in the OI classes today. Laura Collett has already mentioned on twitter that she has entered both Noble Bestman and Rayef for Badminton so I won't be spoiling anything by mentioning she had both her Badminton bound horses here at Tweseldown, although she only ran Noble Bestman cross country as the ground was very deep and sticky in places thanks to a good dump of rain early in the morning and it stayed grey all day.