Dream on hold
The cancellation of Badminton was a heartbreaking decision for the organisers and competitors; a devastating loss for supporters, visitors, sponsors and businesses.
It was bad enough for us at BEDMAX. Badminton is one of the highlights of our events calendar and we had a great new six metre stand designed for the event this year. We were the official supplier of bedding again, and this year we were following the progress of 18-year-old Wizz (Olivia) Leyland all the way from our base in north Northumberland to the Mitsubishi Motors Grassroots Championships.
Wizz had taken a year off after leaving school to pursue her dream of becoming a professional eventer, and she had achieved a major goal when she qualified her 15.2hh grey gelding, Blue View, for the Grassroots BE100 Finals at Aske last September. It was going to be the opportunity of a lifetime to compete at what most regard as the most prestigious venue in the world.
In her last blog on the BEDMAX website the weekend before the event, Wizz and Timmy were absoluteluy ready to go. They were counting the hours down to loading up and setting off on a 10 or 11 hour hike from Bamburgh to Badminton. The rain put a stop to that.
With a bit of luck and a following wind, their chance may come again. We all know what horses and luck are like, and Wizz (and her Mum) must be shattered by the unfairness. But they also know they are not alone, and like everyone who's grown up with horses and the British weather, they'll have a quiet, damp word with the sympathetic horse, make a mug of strong coffee and start preparing for the next event.
We'll let you know how they get on.
You can follow Wizz Leyland and Timmy on
and on the BEDMAX blog.
To find out more about the Grassroots Championship, visit : grassroots.badminton_horse.co.uk
Main photo by kind permission of Nick Gill Photography
The header photo shows Wizz at a slightly earlier moment in her eventing career. Sorry Wizz.