Wednesday, May 15, 2013 12:59 GMT
The Director’s Blog – to start our ‘countdown to Burghley 2013’
It hardly seems a year since I sat and wrote my first blog of the 2012 Season and here we are again. Having recently returned from a wonderful week at Badminton I don’t need reminding that we must now concentrate our efforts on the 2013 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. Hopefully the glorious weather experienced over Badminton week is a good omen; certainly the trade exhibitors had a better start to the season than they did last year and fingers crossed this continues for us all in 2013.
The Rolex Grand Slam remains as elusive as ever, despite the exceptional circumstances of being contested by two riders, both at the very top of their sport. I can hardly imagine what it must have felt like to have had this within grasp and then for it to dissipate into thin air. Similarly there was disappointment for Michael Jung, who surely after jumping the final fence at Badminton must have felt it was ‘in the bag’, particularly as the crowd cheered so enthusiastically – only to find he had rolled a pole at the last – that’s eventing. Congratulations though to ‘Jock’ Paget, who hopefully will recommence the Grand Slam cycle by competing at Land Rover Burghley in September.
Everyone in the office is up to speed with routine administration tasks for the beginning of the year: numerous outline meetings with contractors; planning and allocation of qualifiers for the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse classes; marketing and PR; invitations issued to tradestand exhibitors and much more besides - most recently the opening of the Box Office at the beginning of May. Thank you for the feed-back which many of you have given to our new booking system, fortunately mostly positive, but teething problems have been incurred by some and we will continue to iron these out. Please bear with us and by next year it is our intention to have an ‘all singing and dancing’ system!
Philip Herbert, our Clerk of the Course, has been busy building the cross country for Brigstock Horse Trials, taking place next week in the grounds of Rockingham Castle, and after this he will commence work in earnest for LRBHT. There were the usual planning and site meetings in the Autumn with Mark Phillips and significant changes are being implemented to our course this year - more of this over the coming months.
Prior to the onslaught of winter our customary ground maintenance plan was adhered to , vital to ensure we produce the best ‘going’ possible for our equine athletes. Philip’s schedule of works also included drainage upgrades for the dressage working-in areas and the hard winter that followed provided perfect conditions to establish these improvements. Following sun and spring showers, mowing of the course has now commenced and it hard to believe that barely 6 weeks ago there were remnants of snow lying in the lee of our hedgerows following drifting of heavy snow that fell at the time.
The Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse qualifiers are off to a flying start. Having watched our first qualifier of the season taking place at Badminton, it was gratifying that the winner of the Burghley 2012 Four Year old Finals won the 5 year old qualifying class. With another 18 qualifiers to run, including one just this last weekend at Chatsworth International, we anticipate the competition will be as hotly contested as ever.
Over the coming months I will ‘try’ and keep you updated on activities and plans for the Trials but that’s all for now – until the next one.