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As most of the biggest names in Eventing head to the hallowed stables at Badminton House for what is probably the biggest 4* in the world, another important competition is about to start there – the crème de la crème of the Amateurs have gathered from all over the country again to contest the Mitsubishi Motors Grassroots trophies.
Many months of planning, preparation, practice and the earnest pursuit of perfection in all three phases will be tested tomorrow and Wednesday, with the dressage starting at 9am on Tuesday.
The XC courses look like true Championship courses for the level and I strongly suspect that this is not going to be a dressage competition, especially since it is raining at Badminton, so the going will possibly not be absolutely perfect.
Make no mistake, those who have qualified have already proven themselves to be good at getting all their ducks in a row on the same day, having already done it at least twice to get to the Championships, so it’s going to be a hot competition with worthy winners.
I hope the pressure doesn’t stop them from enjoying the whole amazing experience, and that their memories of galloping across Badminton parkland and being photographed jumping in front of the house, a privilege very few riders will ever experience, will stay with them forever.
I’m not going to make predictions and risk upping the pressure on anyone, so I’ll just wish the very very best of Good Luck to all.
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