How to keep on top of those nerves

Wednesday 7th - 11th May 2025

How to keep on top of those nerves

"It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve been here - the first time I walk the course, it still looks big..."

We caught up with some of this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton competitors to find out how they cope with any nerves.

Willa Newton (GBR)
“Feeling prepared helps me to cope with my nerves. I keep everything the same and stick to the same routine which helps me feel in control.”

Shane Rose (AUS)
“It’s my first time at Badminton but from experience, I’ve learnt that it doesn’t matter where you are, you still have a job to do. It’s great to be here but I still have to perform a dressage test and gallop across country, so I focus on that.”

Mark Todd (NZL)
“Everytime I come to Badminton, it feels like new and I still get the same buzz and the same excitement. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve been here – the first time I walk the course, it still looks big. I just have to focus on the job in hand.”

Louise Harwood (GBR)
“I don’t really get nervous anymore, but I do feel pressure to perform to the best of my ability and do right by my horse.”

Sarah Bullimore (GBR)
“I go back to the lorry and have a little sleep, and think calming thoughts. Because my horse is such a nervous person, if I get uptight he’s definitely going to read that, so I have to ride him in the ring in the same way that I train him at home.”

Tina Cook (GBR)
“I still get nervous and think that the most important thing is to feel prepared before you arrive. Be open minded about how a day is going to go, and learn to control your anxiety because your nerves can affect how you ride your horse horse on the day.”

Hannah Sue Burnett (USA)
“Before the cross-country I get a bit nervous, so I just try to stay in the moment and focus on the next fence rather than the course as a whole. That way, I don’t get overwhelmed by it. I also like to be around other people and have a joke when I’m nervous, otherwise I get too intense.”

Nicky Roncoroni (GBR)
“I see a sport psychologist from time to time if I feel I’m not quite on top of things. I also like to have a bit of my own space to make sure everything is in the right place. I get ready on my own without distractions and then go through everything in my mind and then I’m ready to go.”