So April has arrived and with it good weather and greener grass. My poor horse seems to suffer more than most from swollen glands as the new grass growth comes through to signal the real start of spring.
There are however two very good reasons to celebrate the arrival of April, the clocks have gone forward (more opportunity to ride in the evenings) and just as importantly the countdown to Badminton Horse Trials starts in earnest.
The line up for this year is as good as any, in spite of slightly fewer entries. Go take a look: 2009 Entries . From looking at the Badminton Website the grass is coming through there too and the course looks in great shape. The usual rustic look to the course will no doubt disappoint many, but one of the aspects I really enjoy about Badminton is it’s respect for eventing’s true roots and it really is the best galloping track on the circuit, something that lifts the spirits of horse, rider and spectator.
Last year was an excellent example of how clever the course is at deceiving the riders and lulling them into a false sense of security. Not much is made public yet about this year’s course but I predict the number of fences requiring a frangible pin will be kept to a minimum, and the fence most likely to give rise to penalties under this ridiculous new FEI rule is the gate at Huntsman’s Close.
The Event is also a week later this year which, given recent history, should mean better weather and good conditions under foot – a canny move!
I’m really looking forward to seeing Mark Todd ride Badminton again!
Put the Date in your diary (7th -10th May) and book your tickets online if you haven’t already.