Monthly diary — October

Lucinda Green

At Blair, Burghley and Blenheim, the British 'never say die' attitude from the organisers was in such evidence and great to see.

Health and safety regulations have not dulled their survival instincts. With mud everywhere — even in the dressage arenas — people battled on and had to ride with more skill and awareness.

Judging by the last two seasons, I think it's vital riders do not jump principally on surfaces. Wet weather brings many withdrawals at one-day events. The horses can do it — they are brilliant — it's just a case of practice.

Burghley produced a course as tough as last year but with more flow. Fence seven was very difficult, as it was hard to focus the horse, and it lead to many run-outs. It was a good competition which underlined the superiority of our two Olympians, William Fox-Pitt and Mary King.

Cry Freedom managed his best ever dressage at Blair, despite me losing the way twice. Then I caused his first ever error cross-country when I broke my own number one rule and didn't give him time to see a corner fence on a turn. He ended up wearing it and I fell off. We were both OK but I paid the price, under the new rule, not being allowed to continue — 24 hours driving for nine fences.

"At Blenheim CF was desperate for a run and pretty wild in the dressage. Scheduled last to go cross-country, with a horse that likes the top of the ground, I was probably the only one relieved when the event was cancelled. But how I minded for the other competitors, and the organisers who had taken their efforts to the wire.
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