Saturday, 3 May 2008

Badminton Horse Trials 2008

Despite a long day yesterday, Kath and I jumped up from our temporary lodgings in the van, no time to set up camp last night, and set off for Badminton like a pair of kids on holiday. As we drew close to the ground, we switched to Badminton FM so that we could learn what had happened during the first day.

We were so early that we actually managed to get a very good parking spot right next to the ground. A bacon butty was the first call of the day and we happily munched while plotting our day.

Being dressage day, we planned to watch our favorite riders between walking the cross-country course. The hunt were out showing off as we wandered round. You have to admit that a hunt is a fine sight. however much I admire the riders and love to watch the antics of the hounds though, I can't justify killing an animal in that manner for sport. I hope that the trailing can be developed to give a better day out rather than simply a sprint for the finish.

On our way back to the stands we spied Pippa Funnel and Ensign looking immaculate on her way to perform their test.

The dressage was amazing to watch. Those supremely fit powerhouses of horses being handled so skillfully by their riders in order to show how finely tuned their training is. The rounds were not without their mishaps as horses primed and fit for the four miles of cross country the following day can not always hold in all of that pent up energy and have a tendency to "boil over" now and again! We did however see some excellent examples of equestrianism, mixed in with the not so good! As Kath said of one mount, "He'd better be a machine over the course tomorrow!"
In the photo Zara Phillips pulls off a reasonable test, but pink cheeks were clearly visible as Ardfield Magic Star managed to play her up in front of the very critical Badminton crowd!

Kath and I rounded off our day with an excellent BBQ feast back at, this time a properly pitched, camp.

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