Last year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Grassroots Championships blogger Lucinda Cawood reflects on her experience and changes since her visit to Badminton in 2013.
I know it’s a cliché but….’where has the last year gone?!
This time last year I was right in the middle of my Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Grassroots Championships build up and counting down the days with increasing excitement. All of the hard work paid dividend as Alfie (my skewbald wonder horse) and I ended up 11th out of 65 starters in the BE90 Championship. It truly was a very special week and I can still feel all of the emotions which were buzzing round nearly a year ago.
Following on from Badminton, Alfie really showed how much he (and I) had improved through our increased training efforts by winning the BE100 at Bishop Burton on our next outing. Following that we spent season moving up to Novice and consolidating at that level, with a 6th place at Draycott House, a clear in the showjumping and very silly stop at a ditch at Richmond and then a lovely double clear round a stiff course at Bishop Burton towards the end of the year.
I really felt like we moved on as a partnership through all of the extra training we did ready for the Grassroots Championships and it stood us in really good stead for our move up the levels. This year looks equally exciting with us aiming for our first CIC1* at Chatsworth in May and then, all being well, a CCI 1* later in the season.
In October 2012 we bought a youngster called Herbie who was a gangly five year old when we set off for Badminton last year but he really matured throughout the season and managed to secure 2 qualifications for the BE100 Grassroots Regional Finals so it’s all systems go preparing for those later in 2014. It would be amazing to get the chance to go back on another home-produced horse to experience the BE100 competition.
I would like to wish all of the 2014 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Grassroots competitors all of the luck in the world and would advise them to savour every moment as it is a truly special experience which will stay with you for a long time.
Best wishes and good luck for a safe and successful 2014,