Firstly, thank you to Bicton Arena for asking me to blog in the run up to Badminton!

My name is Abbie Burbidge, I am a 20-year-old British Event rider and have been riding for as long as I can remember! I moved from Essex to Devon in late 2017 with my family. I am still an active Pony Club member with the Essex Hunt North Pony Club and I’m also involved with various Devon Pony Club branches.

Let me introduce my most recognised horse at home – Castle Fantastic. He is a 15.2hh, 13-year-old ISH gelding who I have owned since he was four! Over the years, Castle (as he’s known at home) and I have competed in many disciplines and have been to 12 different Championships including, Royal International, Side Saddle Championships, BE U18 National Championships, Pony Club Championships and the Dodson & Horrell National Amateur & Veteran Championships to name a few. We qualified for the Science Supplements Cup at the Bicton Arena October Horse Trials last year where we competed in the BE100 3Day class and finished second.

Alongside Castle, I have two young horses, Feeling Fantastic (TJ) a 16.2hh 6-year-old ISH, who is coming back into full work after an injury last year and Bluebird (Blue), a 16.2hh 5-year-old ISH gelding who is showing a lot of promise to be a fantastic event horse this coming season.

Castle’s Badminton fitness program is going well. We are now doing more gallop work as well as intense dressage and showjump training. This work will help Castle’s fitness for Bicton Arena’s April Horse Trials event, which is the perfect pre-Badminton run.

Winter competitions with Castle, Blue and TJ, have so far been successful with all horses being placed in the top 10. My aim with Blue and TJ is to affiliate them BE and hope to qualify for Grassroots 2021. I am also aiming to have a good placing at Badminton with Castle, after that I would love to try and compete in my first 1* event with him this season.

We’re counting down the days till the season starts, fingers crossed everything runs smoothly as 2020 is shaping up to be a busy year!

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