So it didn’t quite work out for us today at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, but I’m incredibly proud of my wonderful horse.
We were having a fabulous spin, Miley (Absolut Opposition) was feeling utterly awesome and pinging around the first half of the course, nailing the lines and challenges, until we just came down the wrong side of those fine lines that happen in sport!
Missing the turn to the corner at the Maltings because we over-jumped it cost us time faults last year, so I was trying to get it right this time…and in the process got it a bit wrong. This resulted in Miley landing on the back rail of the enormous white oxer. Thankfully the frangible pin came into action as it is designed to do, so we landed absolutely fine. I could have carried on with the 11 penalties incurred for breaking the pin, but felt it was the right thing to do to retire, make sure Miley was ok and not draw down on the bank of using up his confidence or generosity.
He is such a special horse, who owes us absolutely nothing. Although along with many people in the lorry park tonight, there’ll be the case of ‘what ifs’, without wanting to be clichéd, we are both in one piece and there’ll be other days and opportunities.
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I have just had a very humbling chat with the world number one, Tim Price, and he has shown his class off the saddle as well as in it today. He is an out and out horseman and his stumble off last years winner in the final water today was so unlucky. However he was entirely pragmatic and philosophic in the simplest of ways. What a hero and true example of a sportsman.
I’m signing off for now as I’m heading for supper with my wonderful team and members of our ‘Mileys Friends’ syndicate to toast the fun journey of being involved with such a wonderful horse, in such a great sport surrounded by such great animals and people.
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