Badminton Horse Trials 2018

Badminton – it never disappoints. I love it. If I had started writing this last week it would be filled with loads of exclamation marks and oh my Gods and amazings and fantastics.. you’d be annoyed by the second sentance and probably wouldn’t read on (who says you’re gonna read on anyway?!); so rightfully I said I’d leave it a while until reality had set in again.

It’s only taken a little over a week to come down from the clouds after 5 days of fun, frolics and gin (oh Lord, the gin…), but I’m just about ready to sum up our Badminton experience now. So here goes..

Myself, Sharon and Myles got a flight from Dublin to Bristol, where we met Anne, who had literally finished a maths exam and ran for her flight from Knock (priorities). We made our way to the hire car company. When I initially booked back in January, there were only two of us going, so I said I’d drive…. and then there were 5. No pressure.

The drive. Don’t drive. Actually, just don’t talk or partake in any conversations while driving, cos you’ll miss your exit. What the hell is a spaghetti junction?! Next year I think Myles should drive.

In fairness, driving is fine. It’s only about 40-45 minutes from Bristol airport. Just make sure you have a look at the map before you head off… And stop at Tesco for supplies….. Oh – and make sure you get a car big enough to carry everything but the kitchen sink!

I may have over packed.. If you think you’ve over packed – you have. You don’t need a million outfits. Just trust the forecast and pack appropriately. Unless you’re a fashionista, like me that is….

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Winning the Badminton style stakes 2018

Camp. Definitely camp. Last year I stayed in a hotel (borrrrring). This year we rented a caravan and stayed onsite. So much more fun – there are bars and catering vans open until midnight and you don’t have the added stress of driving in and out everyday.

Day two, Thursday. Jonty Evans and Art (Cooley Rorkes Drift) are awesome.

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I always feel very proud supporting our Irish riders but we can’t thank Jonty enough for making our trip that extra bit special! Was very surreal standing outside Badminton house chatting away to Jonty and his head girl, Jane, while giving Art a scratch on his withers. Is this real life?

(Eh, when you coming to Mayo Jonty?!)

On Thursday afternoon, my oldest horsey friend Bevin arrived (que all the giddy f***ing up throwbacks). I found myself driving again. Solo. Oh holy God. But I managed to pick her up and get us back to the campsite unscathed.. apart from the near miss coming to that round-a-bout.

(I can say that now, hire car is back safely with car company)

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On Friday we watched more dressage, we were there to watch Jonty and Joseph Murphy particulary. That afternoon we were then lucky enough to partake in a course walk with Jonty. I’m still gobsmacked at the size and technicality of some of those fences. While waiting to head off we noticed a few jumps here and there that we said we’d happily attempt… but then realised that was the Mitsubishi Motors Cup course – BE 90 and BE 100. Face palm

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ah yeah, I’d jump that…..

We had a few quiet beverages that evening and even had dignified sing and dance in the lakeside bar (video evidence exists). If you’re lucky, like we were, you might get treated to an impromptu Full Monty tribute act. (Myles, dat u?)

(It’s not Myles)

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Torsos only to conceal identities…

What else can I tell you?

When you’re holding up the que for coffee cos the girl said “that’ll be £3.40 please” and you’re desperately trying to figure out which one is a 20p and which one is the 10p, don’t make a “what kind of foreign money is this anyway” or “that’s a funny lookin’ euro” joke. Not everyone gets that you’re Irish and that you’re “only messin‘”… #awkward

Food. Eat all the food. Pulled pork – yum. Falafel, yum… But if you get anything, you MUST get a bacon, brie and cranberry toasted sandwich from the toastie van. They are unreal…. (I’m drooling thinking about them). You’ll be doing so much walking you really will need to eat. Think between browsing and the course walk, we did 20,000+ steps on Friday alone!

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Cross-country day is mental. Over 100,000 people come to watch the thrills and spills. My only advice is to be patient. People move frequently, so if you want to get a good view or a seat just wait a few minutes, someone will move.

Hmm, what else..

Sunscreen – very important. We all got great farmers tans with all the walking around.

Oh, and how freaking cool is that that Jonelle Price and Classic Moet won?! G’wan the girls!!

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Anyway, I guess I wasn’t a very good blogger cos I really didn’t take that many photos or make many notes about what was going on. Truth is, we were having so much of a good time I really wasn’t thinking about anything else other than how lucky I was to be there, with some of my best friends (awwww I know, pass the bucket), watching my favourite sport. It’s like the twilight zone or something. #happyplace

So if you do go.. Soak up the atmosphere and enjoy every moment of it. Badminton really is a very special place.

(Myles – did you find my Urban Decay pallet?)

Cat x

Oh yeah.. Most importantly, don’t show anyone how to work the Facebook Live thingy!!!

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