I kept having to remind myself to enjoy it – at the end of the day it's just a dressage test...
Giovanni: ‘Sorry for a late blog – I had a bit of a drama on Tuesday morning. We were due to be loading up and heading to Badminton but Oplitas lost a shoe in the field. Kathryn and Bee set off as planned but I had to stay behind and follow on on Wednesday morning.
‘I would like to thank my amazing team, especially Sophie our head girl and Martin our farrier, for the great job they have done in the last 48 hours…. to top it all I was also riding two four-year-olds in the Burghley Young Event Horse classes, so it was not the most relaxing of starts to my Badminton!’
Kathryn: ‘It was really thrilling to lead Bee under the arch for the trot up. He looked amazing and absolutely lit up when he saw the crowds – I think he thought they were all there to see him. I’d had a minor wardrobe drama to get through first because it was such a beautiful day and much warmer than I’d expected. I realised I’d boil if I stuck to plan A but hopefully plan B worked OK.
‘Oplitas also trotted up well after Gio’s rushed start so the first hurdle of our Badminton adventure was over.
‘I was first in for the dressage out of the two of us, and Bee was a star, I couldn’t have asked any more of him. He stayed calm and rideable, doing the best test yet at the level. I didn’t want to let my nerves take over so kept having to remind myself to enjoy it – at the end of the day it’s just a dressage test.’
Giovanni: ‘It was Oplitas’s first experience at this level and I am super happy with him. It was a big shame about the flying changes though, I only got one out of four! Having said that he does get quite tense so I was really pleased he stayed as calm as he did all the way through.
‘We’ve had a look at the cross country and it is big, bold and technical. It is definitely Badminton! Bee has done a 4* before but not like this so Kathryn is hoping he takes it on. I think we will need to ride with our heads all the way, to feel our horses and see how they react to the intensity of the questions. Fingers crossed!’