CHORLEY eventer Jeanette Brakewell admits she will be disappointed not to compete at this year’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, but says the health of her horses takes priority.
The 40-year-old, who has been riding since the age of four, saw her top horse Lets Dance pick up a tendon injury at the start of the season, which has forced the mare to be sidelined from competitions.
But despite the setback, Brakewell insists the 11-year-old will be back stronger next season and still has many more years left in her legs.
However, none of Brakewell’s younger rides are ready to compete at the Burghley Horse Trials this September, meaning she will miss the competition for the first time since 2005.
“Lets Dance picked up an injury competing earlier this year, but she’s back in work and building up to full fitness and strength,” Brakewell said.
“It’s important not to rush things in this situation and let the horse get back to fitness in her own time.
“She’s a young horse and if we look after her properly and allow her injuries to heal then she’ll have many more years to compete at the top level.
“The aim will be to do maybe a three-star event next spring with her and then maybe on to Burghley in the autumn.
“It’s disappointing not to be competing at Burghley, it’s probably my favourite event of the year.It’s always a good course, which is organised really well, and for the riders it’s a very friendly event.
“It’s a challenging course – if you can go round it well then it’s a massive achievement. Because of the terrain there it’s probably the most demanding course in the world.”
With the injury to Lets Dance, Brakewell has been able to put her focus on some of the younger horses at her Abbotsholme Stud stables.
And the Lancashire-born rider says bringing new horses through is something that she still enjoys and aims to get the best out of each horse at the stables.
“I’ve got a horse called KEC Salza, who will be doing the two-star event in Hartpury [in early August], and he’s a very smart horse,” she added.
“Hopefully in a couple of year’s time he’ll be up to four-star level. He’s a very level-headed horse.
“He’s done a few CIC two-stars, but he’s a very good horse when he goes out competing and the atmosphere doesn’t seem to get to him.”
n The multi-award winning Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (4-7th September) has been established as a major international equestrian and social event in the Autumn Sporting Calendar for over 50 years. For more information visit www.burghley-horse.co.uk