We went off the Burghley again for another visit this morning and it was a treat as always.
This year, the Olympics have made it EVEN more popular than it normally is and the event has been lucky with the weather when some of the earlier ‘summer’ events have been rained off.
The first day of september was not a disappointment and it was scorching today.
We started, as we usually do by paying a visit to friends of ours who have a stand here every year. They sell the most fantastic and unusual items for your home and garden. Amorosa is a really interesting company who not only sell to the public but supply to the restaurant world be they old wine & olive pots, fossil sculptures, ammonites, garden mirrors, garden wall plaques, wooden stools, stone owls & sconces, moroccan and African artifacts or a number of other fascinating objects you just won’t find anywhere else, they are completely unique. A visit to their stand and a good chat is a great start to our day at Burghley.
Onward for a quick but short shop. JC got a new Barbour Corbridge jacket (lovely), we got some great spices from Fox’s Spices who do mail order as well as having an FB page & I bought an absolutely gorgeous merino wool blanket for our sofa from So Cosy. It’s disgraceful for me to buy this as I can make it myself or indeed my mum could but this is such a perfect shade of charcoal grey and is so huge that it would take me forever and probably cost loads more so I had to buy it.
A spot of picnic lunch on a blanket in the sun, a nana nap and we were ready to take in the main event so we got ourselves off to a good spot by the Elephant Trap jump number 5.
The sun came out and everyone was in a good mood. Along with that came lots of support for the competitors, most of whom had already recently performed in the olympics. And they had all done brilliantly. The USA’s Sinead Halpin was first at the end of today with only one day of eventing left and dressage etc behind her. Who knows who will be the overall winner but there are some faces that appear every time; Mary King & William Fox Pitt (I’m sure he threatens to retire every year!). No Zara Phillips this year but Captain Mark Phillips designs the course so I suppose she is still represented in a way.
Where we were sitting gave us the opportunity to watch the riders come down the drop jump that is The Leaf Pit jump 4 into the open before going over jump 5 and turning 90 degrees right onto the rest of the course.
Each rider took it differently, and the jumps varied enormously from calm and relaxed, to nervy and reluctant or bold and aggressive. One thing that united them, though was that look ahead to see what is coming once the jump is safely negotiated.
The jockies and the eventing horses are so incredible. Big crowds, barking dogs, giggling little ones or cars racing by don’t interrupt their concentration and they are totally focussed on the job in hand.
The only time I saw this change, was when England’s Francis Whittington came by on Sir Percival III and a large and very friendly but loud girls shouted her name in support.
It raised a giggle and a smile from the crowd and a grin from Francis as she sped by.
The atmosphere was very relaxed and lovely.