September 2   Leave a comment

The last two days have been the Dressage days at Burghley. On Wednesday we were on the grounds briefly and saw some of the trotting up, which is the first inspection to ensure the horses are sound and ready to do the event – crucial, since the event is so physically demanding.

Yesterday the Dressage competition began in earnest, and by the end of the day the order of go for the Cross Country tomorrow was announced.

Our view of the dressage court

However, there is not an exact correlation between dressage placings and order of Cross Country go. For instance, Simone Deitermann on Free Easy NRW scored the best at dressage: 39.3 (lower scores=better scores in eventing dressage, unlike regular dressage. However, she is the 89th rider to go out tomorrow (out of a field of 127 runs). Here are the first ten riders to go out tomorrow:

  1. Happy Times/Sam Griffiths;
  2. Running Brook II/Georgie Spence;
  3. Neo du Breuil/Oliver Townend;
  4. Sir Percival III/Francis Whittington;
  5. Tubber Rebel/Dag Albert;
  6. Avebury/Andrew Nicholson;
  7. Holstein Park Leilani/Christopher Burton;
  8. Parklane Hawk/William Fox-Pitt (who, I believe, has the distinction of being the rider who has won Burghley more times than anyone else);
  9. Clifton Promise/Jonathan Paget;
  10. Mrs Tilly/Caroline Powell.

In other news, what young ladies of the equestrian set are wearing: Dubarry boots. These, with very short cut-off jeans or micro-mini kilt skirts in green tweed windowpane plaid.  Often paired with a sporty polo or rugby shirt.

Like this, only in green windowpane plaid

Many of the less-young ladies are wearing hacking jackets in that selfsame green tweed windowpane plaid; with leather piping on the pockets and lapels, and contrasting dark velvet collars. I coveted one of these, but the prices were beyond my means.

And dogs! there are almost as many dogs at Burghley as there are horses. More, actually. Every fourth or fifth person has a dog, and some of them have two (likely to be a matching set, as well.)

Lisbeth, not being sucked in much by the dressage action, spent quite a bit of time today offering water to, and petting, dogs who were tied to the fence in the Member’s Enclosure. She had offered to help out at the Animal Rescue tent, but they couldn’t allow it, as she was under 16.  So she acted independently, and was so diligent and caring that she got tipped by at least one owner, and another one bought her an ice-cream cone!

The dogs are going to have to take care of themselves tomorrow, as we will be out on the course virtually all day…

Oh! Speaking of that – we went on an organized course walk yesterday with Lucinda Green, and it was great to hear her perspectives on all the fences, the questions they posed and their possible solutions.  She was particularly kind to Lissie, who walked alongside her almost the whole time and assisted her by holding the course map and jump descriptions (Lucinda had a fall and one of her arms had just come out of a cast that morning, so she only had the use of one hand).

This course walk was scheduled to take two hours, but stretched to a little over three, due to many enthusiastic questions from the large (between 30 and 40 people) group. Toward the end Lucinda also had Lisbeth managing her dog for her, a little terrier who was just as full of energy at the end of the course walk as he was at the beginning!  It was a great experience on many levels, but especially to prepare us to understand what we’ll be seeing tomorrow on the big CC day.

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Posted September 2, 2011 by Evelyn in Uncategorized

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