Tim, Kerryn, Megan, Vitali, Coup de Cooer Dudevin (Joker) and Scooby rolled into Badminton around 5.30 pm on Wednesday and set up camp with the Maxi and drag. It’s a new parking spot for the trucks at Badminton in the field behind the house with the entrance for vehicles off Luckington Lane and foot walkers from the back drive of the house. It’s much more spacious than the old truck parks but a bit soggy in parts!

Some years ago when we were in the old parking field Toddy arrived and was not very happy about the unmowed grass around his truck and gazebo. So in true Toddy style he borrowed the vicar’s lawnmower and set to work prettying up his patch. Someone took a photo and reproduced some A4 leaflets advertising Toddy as being “available for gardening jobs, small or large” which was pretty funny. Tim must have had this at the back of his mind as Kerryn mentioned that apart from the usual packing requests Tim had asked for the electric trimmer to be packed.

And sure enough Tim set to work prettying up his patch! Tim and Jonelle mentioned being ‘house proud” in Panda Christie’s interview last week but no one mentioned truck park proud!

Thursday dawned pretty grey with a cool breeze and the stables are a happy place for the whole Kiwi crew. The grass roots were running and their footprints were going in surprisingly deep whilst the rest of the Park was pretty good. By the afternoon the wind had picked up and although the sun struggled to make much more than the occasional appearance Tim jogged both of his together early up and avoided the rain that set in for the last 10 horses.

Joker is a bit of a worrier but is reliable at the jog….Vitali has had issues with the jog since Luhmuhlen in 2022 and that was computed at Burghley as well. Tim and his crew, ably supported by the Horse Heath Team of Christiana Ober, Alice Dorman and Jack Young, sent Joker in first through the archway with Vitali following, Joker then went left and waited whilst the plan was for Vitali to jog straight away to the right. Vitali took one look at the crowd and the track he was expected to go down and said no thank you and engaged reverse. Tim tactfully didn’t fight him, he allowed him some time and the big crowd that gathers at this jog seemed unaware that a horse reversing towards them at speed means you need to back away! Vitali took a breath and zig zagged his way down the strip taking the opportunity to bump into Tim a few times and was mightily relieved to get back to the archway where he promptly abandoned his best mate Joker and returned to the safety of the stable yard with out a backward glance. He’s the sort of mate who dumps you when you are drunk and need the most but luckily Joker is the forgiving kind of friend!

Vitali goes at 9.40 tomorrow, Joker 3.26 on Saturday. All times, information etc on the Badminton Website.

All though bizarrely the mobile phone version works better than the desktop!