Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, Wednesday 6th May – Sunday 10th May, 2015

Laura Collett and Grand Manoeuvre, Badminton 2015

What an epic week at Badminton! What a win from William and Chilli – Nicholson also showed what pressure can do to you! Both absolute legends of the sport but thrilled for Big Will.

On Tuesday 5th May, we were fully packed and on route to Badminton. I’d spent the morning jumping a few and took Grand Manoeuvre for a quiet hack! He was then washed on the lorry in the middle of the day so we all think he knew something big is happening!

When we got to Badminton we unloaded the lorry by the stables and then parked up! It’s all a bit manic with lack of space to unload all the lorries… A logistical nightmare that the organisers deal with very well!

I then took Grand Manoeuvre for a pick of grass and then a little hack around the park!

On Wednesday 6th May Grand Manoeuvre flew through the trot up late afternoon, I was very lucky to have my outfit provided by Jade Holland Cooper, with some stunning boots from Fairfax & Favour!

On Thursday 7th May, in the morning I was interviewed on BBCRadio2 by Chris Evans and BBCRadio4, always a bit nerve wrecking. That afternoon, I had my dressage, he warmed in beautifully and the majority of the test was good but the atmosphere got to him slightly meaning we lost a few marks for mistakes! He’s finished on a 46.2 which leaves us 18th going into xc.

Since arriving at Badminton I had walked the xc 3 times and always walk it once more with Yogi before XC starts on the Saturday morning.
It’s big and bold with lots of questions spread out all over the course! I think the lake and the colt pond will be very influential.

My quiet day was Friday 8th May, which is great as I am able to support my sponsors, Ariat, Gatehouse, Dodson & Horrell and Holland Cooper, by visiting their stands, having photos with customers and chatting with visitors to Badminton.

This year as a proud Brand Ambassador for Dodson & Horrell Ltd, I gave 12 competition winners a XC course walk for a couple of hours as well, which was good fun.

So for the Cross country on Saturday 9th May, we went out at 1.30pm, having had a nice morning with mum in the Horse Trails Support Group tent, wathcing the first few on the course. What can I say other than it was awesome he quite literally at times FLEW over the fences. Milo adores this phase and gave me an amazing ride back at 4*.

Sunday 10th May he cruised through the trot up and was in the mornings’ round of Show Jumping, we annonyingly had a couple of rails leaving our final placing as 28th.

Monday 11th May, we are back home now, Milo has had a lovely day in the field… He looked amazing this morning – you wouldn’t know he’d done anything at the weekend!!

I was very lucky to have supergroom Zanie King and my very supportive boyfriend Harry Cruickshank with me all week.

My biggest THANK YOU is to Diana Chappell for letting me ride such an amazing horse & my thanks also must go to Nick Gauntlett in producing him to this level, like Chilli Morning, he’s done a superb job, I am a very lucky lady.

I can’t wait until Badminton next year bring on 2016!!