Our Katie and TJ at Badminton

Brilliant fun, amazing memories and huge disappointment – that’s horses and unfortunately sums up my first Badminton!! But we will be back….

To actually get to my first Badminton was such a massive privilege and I was so excited and thrilled to be there with my very special horse. Just arriving and walking through the archways to the historic and beautiful stables is a feeling I will never forget!!

First step – trot up and this has become a serious fashion parade!! I was kindly made a beautiful outfit (plus given boots and hat) and managed to match up to TJ, who my grooms had looking divine! The trot up is always a bit nerve wracking but a very excited TJ was accepted by the ground jury and we were officially starters at Badminton Horse Trials – wow!

Dressage next and a personal best is all you can ever wish for – we did just this in a big atmosphere and I couldn’t have been prouder of him. No we weren’t troubling the leaders but we both did our best and looked forward to our favourite part to come…

Next amazing experience was drinks reception in Badminton House, a huge privilege that didn’t disappoint – it is absolutely beautiful. Great chance to relax with friends and family, plenty of champagne in celebration and we were glad of a day off the next day!!!

So XC day arrived and I still remained more excited than nervous, having walked the course 4 times I had my plan and was confident TJ and I could do it – yes it was huge and tricky but he is the most amazing XC horse and I have total faith in him. After a perfect warm up there was a delay to our start and TJ got over excited and managed to pull a shoe off….talk about bad timing, mass panic and the farrier having to nail it back on in a hurry to a very excited horse minus a big chunk of hoof. Anyway mission accomplished we set off and TJ was awesome, simply foot perfect over everything until suddenly he stopped! Taken by surprise I presented him to the jump twice more but he wasn’t interested and we were eliminated, such mixed emotions of disappointment, confusion and most of all worry that he was injured as it was just so unlike him.

We quite quickly discovered that the shoe he lost had been nailed back on a bit tight and after 6 minutes of galloping and jumping he must have been feeling sore and very sensibly opted to go no further. Absolutely gutted but so relieved that this was obviously the problem.

I am pleased to say that after a week off, a new shoe from my brilliant farrier and he was right back to form and plans started for the next event. Easier said than done with on call to swap and days off needed but thanks to my amazing colleagues at Milbourn for making it work – next stop Bramham….

Fit To Succeed – Horse & Rider Evening

Our vet Katie relives her success at Burghley International horse trials last year and shares the trials and tribulations of keeping a horse fit on the road to Badminton 2019. Whilst qualified personal trainer and local horse rehabilitation expert Rebecca discusses rider fitness and how this impacts your horse’s performance at all levels.

Monday 15th April 7pm (doors open 6.30) @ Bodiam Arena. TN32 5UJ

Refreshments provided

Book your free seat for this inspiring and interactive evening on 01580 752301 or hawkhurst@milbournequine.co.uk

Katie and Howard’s Eventful Year

Our vet Katie has had an amazing year –

”After a fabulous eventing season with the incredible ‘pocket rocket’ TJ including 8th at Chatsworth 3*, 18th in our first 4* event (the highest level) at Luhmuhlen in Germany and 17th in the British Open Championships we headed to the prestigious Burghley Horse Trials – a real childhood dream!! It was just the most incredible experience from start to finish. I was certainly more excited than nervous and loved every minute being there with such a special horse – we achieved a personal best dressage and he gave me the most thrilling xc ride to finish clear and fast and very happy. He came out sound and full of energy for the SJ and jumped amazingly to finish 24th – such an amazing result I still can’t believe it!! Great to have Harriet Fairhurst by my side too taking great care of TJ and being nervous for me.

To cap my amazing season I have been shortlisted for the prestigious Horse and Hound Awards – Amateur Rider of the year. The winner is announced at their gala ceremony at Cheltenham racecourse which will be another exciting evening for me.”

Katie went on to win Amateur Rider of the year and we are sure 2019 will be even more successful for her and TJ.


Howard Newitt at the World Equestrian Games

Our Hawkhurst Clinical Director Howard Newitt was invited to be part of the FEI Veterinary Commission at the recent World Equestrian Games in Tryon, USA.

”The veterinary commission is responsible for the welfare of the horses including conducting the horse inspections (trot-ups) and ensuring that medication requests are within the rules. We also were part of the quarantine team assessing all non-USA horses during their 42hour quarantine.

There were horses competing from nations from all corners of the globe and it was a fantastic experience to see all of the different types of elite horses and meet people from many countries. The difficulties with the venue have been well publicised but we should consider that the organisers took the games on at short notice when the original venue (Bromont, Canada) pulled out so without them there would have been no World Games.

Many of the people working at the games are volunteers and if any of you get the opportunity to volunteer at a major sporting event, I would encourage you to take it as it will be a unique time to meet lots of interesting people and to get involved with elite sports stars.”