Team King - Dreaming of Badminton

With the continuing bad weather we’ve been lucky to get a few runs in during April ...few being the operative word!
I was so looking forward to Belton where I had all 3 of mine entered, and Emily also had 3. We were there for a couple of days and, as we have for the last 20+ years (!), stabled with some lovely friends nearby ...Iain, Della and Emily Graham, and their neighbours Paul and Angie Ward who look after us and the horses so well. I managed to run Bobby who went beautifully in the OI, except had 2 fences down in the show jumping. But frustratingly Billy and Joey, who had had a bit of a cough the week before, were flat and unmotivated so felt it right not to run them XC. It was a treat to ride the famous ‘Hovis’ in front of the crowds. He is a well known mascot for the equine welfare charity Bransby Horses. 
I had my vet Richard Stringer to check Billy and Joey’s bloods towards the end of the following week, and they were given the all clear to run at Bicton the next weekend. Billy was 2nd in the intermediate, which upgraded him to advanced level. Joey did his first CIC** and got a qualifying score so is now qualified for a CCI**, and Bobby was 5th (and jumped a great clear round show jumping..hurray!) in a strong OI section amongst some top Badminton bound horses a super weekend at our superbly run local event.
Sadly poor Withington HTs fell foul of the wet weather so my next run is Aston Le Walls, then Bobby does his first advanced event at the lovely Chatsworth Horse Trials...eek!
Badminton was incredibly exciting this year. I had walked the course twice a couple of weeks before the start, 1 walk for the Horse and Hound preview, and one for Mitsubishi with Kate Humble from Countryfile, which was filmed for the Mitsubishi website..what a lovely friendly lady she is! 
The 2018 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton turned out to be a true jumping competition. Nobody got the time XC, and there were only a peppering of clear rounds show jumping. The XC rode well, with many clear rounds (40), but it was the time on fairly holding ground which really sorted out the result.
Both Emily and I wished we were riding there...maybe Emily will have one ready for next year, and me the following year (yes, I still haven’t lost the urge to compete at the top level!). I did 3 course walks during the week, one being with 60 eager Beaufort Pony Club children, a number of signing sessions at Ariat, Logic, Mitsubishi, Joules and Gatehouse, a talk at the Savills hospitality marquee, and both Emily and I did our Mitsubishi Ambassador role part for the Grassroots competition.
Our 5 foals are loving being in a new big field with fresh grass, and sun on their backs. Tess and Zara both came into season at the same time and this year the plan is to get them in foal and for them to carry the foals themselves, rather than doing any embryo transfers. They were inseminated a couple of days ago..Tess with Van Gough, and Zara with Ramiro B, so fingers crossed for their scan in a couple of weeks.
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