After qualifying in October, Honor McFarlane (4th, W) competed in the Mitsubishi Motors Cup (formerly the Grassroots Championship) at the Badminton Horse Trials on her horse, Ziggy Stardust. She has written an account of her weekend to give us an insider’s view of the competition.
By Honor McFarlane (4th, W)
Day 1 - Dressage
The build up to Badminton is finally over and we are here, and amazingly the sun is shining! The first day of the competition is Dressage and we did a nice dressage test, which would have been a lot better if my pony had not taken a strong dislike to a mobility scooter just outside the arena. Now off to walk the cross-country course again, it’s very technical but I am lucky that a very experienced Event rider Spencer Sturmey has offered to come and walk it with me. Later on, this evening we have been invited to drinks by Mitsubishi Motors, it will be amazing to be in a marquee with all the top 4* riders, hopefully, some of their brilliance will rub off on me!
Day 2 – Showjumping and Cross-country
After sleeping in the lorry it’s an early rise as Spencer has decided I should walk the course again at 6.00am, which was well worth it as I was able to think again about some of the most complicated jumps. Back to the lorry and a quick breakfast before starting to get my horse Ziggy ready. Suddenly the crowds have built up and lots of my friends and family have come to support me. I walk the Showjumping course, think of the lines I need to take and we go into the warm up arena. Ziggy suddenly realizes this is quite a big occasion and bucks as we go into the warm up arena, that’s a new one; I guess he was as nervous as I was! We had a fantastic clear round in the Showjumping and it was a really quick change to get Ziggy and I ready for cross-country. I suddenly realize at the start of the cross-country that I am about to ride around the famous Badminton course, and I’m off! I’ve been warned there would be crowds everywhere but I hadn’t really believed it and as we jumped into the famous Badminton Lake I had a sudden thought of how lucky I was! Ziggy flew the cross-country course and we got round in record speed and were thrilled to have a clear round, especially as 20 percent of the class never made it round. We waited a long time for the results but we were thrilled to be placed in the top third of a large competitive class, as one of the youngest riders competing. It was amazing to spend the evening relaxing with friends and family thinking back on the amazing few days, an experience I will never forget!