Jacky Green: Badminton Day One Dressage, the Inside View

Photo of Rebecca Howard and Riddle Master on Thursday, photo via Denya

From Jacky:

Having lulled us into a false sense of security yesterday the weather turned distinctly chilly today with a brisk wind and not so much sun. While I had made the minor error of wearing a light jacket it was slightly amusing to see those in shorts and Dubarry’s with thighs turning blue. I just don’t get shorts and wellies even if they are posh ones. It brings the notion of a farmer’s tan to a whole new ball game and seems on a par with me to a sleeveless raincoat. The crowds were out in force today although seemingly not to watch the dressage as those stands were remarkably empty. They were apparently shopping in the thousands though as Tom McEwen came back from getting his top hat stretched at the Patey stand with a look of fear in his eyes and said in his usual understated way, “ it’s pretty bloody busy.”

This year the official photographers have been moved from their normal position and situated behind a rope in the main arena. This has the effect of blocking from view the bottom third of the arena from the competitors’ stand which is mildly irritating to say the least. Apart from that the main theme of the day was that the judges are being very conservative with their marks which everyone agrees is fine….if they stay that way tomorrow.

One of the highlights was Beanie Sturgis’s Lebowski who got loose in the collecting ring after his test. Beanie watched him trot determinedly off with Chris Bartle in hot pursuit and was heard to be shouting, “ Don’t get too close Chris, he will kick you,” which was clearly good advice as Lebowski promptly swung his quarters at Chris. Quite why the German trainer was chasing Lebowski (stable name Rotter) remains a mystery.

Apart from that, today’s highlights included a great test from Burto (Christopher Burton), an early fab test from Andrew Nicholson on Avebury, and a lot of nearly undrinkable coffee from the competitors’ tent where they seem to be rationing the grains per cup. Having spent a fair proportion of the day with Will Coleman I can also report that he is incapable of passing a “rest room” as he calls it, a portaloo to the rest of us, without a visit so it’s a bit like taking Grandad out for the day. It could be that he is just trying to escape our company, however, so don’t read too much into that!

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