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As you may know, our sponsored rider Emily King is due to compete at this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials. This will be Emily’s second time competing and Dargun’s first. So we thought we’d take the opportunity to catch up and find out all about it… over to Emily… watch the video below or have a read of what she has to say below.
“Hi guys, I hope you’re well, it’s Emily here, and Dre. We’re just hacking over to our gallop field. Actually, it’s one of our final gallops before Badminton Horse Trials, so it’s very exciting.
“So yes, little Dre, or Dargun is his show name. I’ve had him since he was a six year old. I got him at the end of his fifth year, going into his sixth year. He’s a lovely little chap – he’s quite a shy character and quite sensitive, but he’s grown stronger and bolder and braver the more we’ve done together. But it’s lovely that I’ve been able to have him for such a long time. It builds up such a good partnership. We’ve slowly gone up through the levels – had a great result at Bramham horse Trials last year and, off the back of that, felt he was ready to go up to Badminton Horse Trials.
“It’s just amazing to go to Badminton. It’s amazing just to enter and get your entry accepted, then to get in, and then it’s such a long wait between getting your entry in and your final run. Our final run was last weekend at Burnham Market and we had a lovely double clear in the big class there. It was a perfect final run for he and I. Now it’s just those last few gallops and last few training bits, and keeping him fit and well so he stays sound and happy.
“Preparation wise, between the entry and now, you have to keep the consistency and not change things. Obviously what you’ve been doing has been working because you’re at this spot in the first place. He’s quite a fussy eater so he has his breakfast, his Bailey’s Horse Feeds Ease & Excel, then gets worked and goes out in the field all day, he doesn’t have lunch, and then he either has a little work in the afternoon or goes on the walker, or has a massage rug on quite regularly, and has his dinner. He actually does much better having two feeds instead of three. It seems to keep him more enthused about eating. It’s just about keeping him happy and super well in himself so he can perform as well as possible.
“I’m obviously going to go there and give it our best shot. It’s his first time at Badminton Horse Trials, it’s our first time together, and my second time competing there. I just want him to do what he’s capable of – what we’re capable of. It would be fantastic to have a clear round cross country and jump a fabulous showjumping round. Whatever that consists of. You never quite know how tired they’re going to get on their first time around a long track, but if I feel he gives me his all and is sound and jumps well, I’ll be thrilled. And if that comes with a 20 dressage, clear in the time cross country and clear showjumping, then I will be over the moon. But really, I just want him to be safe, sound and happy, and come home with a good experience. It would be great to have this as a firm foundation for our first five star together.
“Of course, with me being ultra competitive, if that comes with a top three placing that would be lovely. So, I think that’s about it for me and Dargun. We just need to keep ourselves wrapped in bubble wrap and ultra fit. He’s got to eat as much as possible as he’s quite a skinny boy. I’ve got to not eat as much as possible so I become a skinny girl – we’re quite opposite in our final diets – and just fingers crossed all stays fit and sound.
“We’ll arrive at Badminton Horse Trials on the Tuesday lunchtime and settle in ready for the trot up on the Wednesday. We’re draw number 21 so that means we will have Thursday dressage, probably late morning on the Thursday, which is really good. My dressage trainer is going to meet me at Badminton so we’ll have a few last minute sessions there and go through my test on the Wednesday afternoon and the Thursday morning. And then we’ve just got to keep our fingers crossed!
“Thanks so much guys – I’ll hopefully see a bunch of you at Badminton Horse Trials. Make sure to pop to the Hiho stand and stock up on lots of awesome goodies.”
Why not watch the full video here: