Wednesday 5th May
Sunday 9th May, 2021

Meet Hannah Bate – Returning For Her 5th Badminton

"Finn will give 200% every time, and do it with a smile on his face"

So it’s that time of year again; Badminton is now only 6 weeks away and we have just heard that we are in. I say ‘WE’ have just heard, as both myself and my boyfriend of 10 years, Paul Sims, have been accepted. It will be my 5th ride at Badminton and my 2nd time on Finbury Hill.

Finbury Hill (Finn) has been with me now for 4 years. He was bought by his current owner, Susie Guild, as a 4-year-old from Vere Phillips and was ridden up to intermediate level by Jancis Tulloch. Finn is by a stallion called Regal Sting out of an unknown mother – I’m sure he has pony in him! He was sent to me in August 2010 to do some events on and sell as he wasn’t going to progress up the levels… We did 4 events that Autumn, including the 2 star at Weston Park which he skipped around. That’s when I thought he could be a very good horse.

By the end of 2011 Finn had done both Bramham and Blenheim CCI3 stars, finishing on his dressage score at both events. I’d had two offers to buy him – but he was no longer for sale.

Finn is a remarkable horse; he is small and nimble with an amazing willing attitude. He isn’t the most talented or scopey horse in the world but I have never sat on anything that gallops and stays like he does. He will give 200% every time, and do it with a smile on his face.

Preparation so far is going well. Paul and I are lucky enough that we can train and gallop together, and both horses have been to the gallops every week for the last 5 weeks now, and we will up that to every 4 days from next week. Dressage lessons will continue with Ian Woodhead as and when he can fit us in as he is probably teaching at least 70% of the riders competing at Badminton – he is very much in demand!

In the meantime we are en route to Gatcombe – I’m writing this from the lorry as Paul drives, and we are nearly there now 🙂