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Badminton

Badminton week is always a highlight, although having competed there nine times in the past eleven years it never quite the same being there in a non-competing capacity.

 

I enjoyed commentating for the BBC coverage with Mike Tucker and Ian Stark on cross country day, and then alongside John Kyle on FEI TV and the team at Radio Badminton for the rest of the competition. It's a great opportunity to be able to watch every round of the competition and without a horse I at least managed to give my swivel chair an enthusiastic ride around the course!

 

In between I rode the horses early each morning before doing a sponsor's course walk on each of the dressage days. On the Friday I took part in a Q&A session with Dodson & Horrell on the World Horse Welfare stand before riding Tenareze in the stallion parade; he was first to go so we went in just as the last combination finished their dressage, it was a nice opportunity to ride him in a main arena with a big atmopshere and he wasn't phased by the occasion or applause which is hopefully a good sign!  

 

The Horse Trials Support Group hosted a really fun cross country preview evening, generously sponsored by D&H, at which Zara Tindall, Yogi Breisner, Ian Stark and I chatted (rather freely!) to compere Alice Fox-Pitt about our thoughts on the course and predictions for the following day. It was a fun evening with a big audience so hopefully helped the HTSG's very worthwhile fundraising towards getting the reserve horse, rider, groom and owner out to Rio this summer.

 

Badminton always makes the hairs on the back of any eventing enthusiast's neck stand up, but this year felt more buzzing than ever. The course was a true four star test and we were all lucky to witness Michael Jung's remarkable bit of history, as well as some great British performances from Gemma, Tina, Izzy and others.

 

 

 

Above: Chatting through the challenges at Huntsmans Close

 

 

 

Above: Talking feeding at World Horse Welfare and D&H's nutrition forum

 

 

 

Above: Great to see it back...!

 

 

 

Above: Getting serious in the Radio Badminton commentary box, alongside Daisy and Matt

 

 

 

Above: Tenareze enjoying a departing spin around the main arena in the Stallion Parade

 

 

 

Above: efforts to wean Charlie off horses and onto tennis seem to be failing

 

 

 

Above: support team in tow

 

 

 

Above: The Horse Trials Support Group hosted the lighthearted Cross Country Preview on Friday evening

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