The Build Up To Burghley 2019

This year’s preparation has been crazy since the beginning of August! Let me tell you all about it from the very beginning…

I began thinking about Katie’s outfit for Burghley Horse Trials post our success at Badminton trot up on the 1st May. I imagined and designed a fabulously fitted high-low coat style blazer lined in our partridge print taken from the original ‘Flying Partridge’ image by Monet Johnson. A navy or deep green tweed with a velvet collar. The high-low would allow the lining to be showcased ready for the Autumn / Winter collection to come…

Katie messaged me at the beginning of August saying that tweed wasn’t really her thing. Although I was originally quite upset about this, I absolutely understand her decision. You must be true to you, be comfortable in what you wear, especially at such a big occasion. We are so grateful to have worked with Katie and TJ and wish them the very best of luck this year. Hopefully we can have a glass or two together at some point during the week ahead.

So, it’s now the 5th August and Burghley trot up is 4 weeks 2 days away…. what do I do?! I’m determined someone will run down the little strip of tarmac in something from us! I ring one of my dearest and oldest friends, Nicole Mills. Nicole’s Instagram bio describes her as ‘Director at Casewick Stud Equestrian, Event Rider, champagne drinker & always on a diet'‘! She is brilliant and has got me out of many a scrape!

Nicole asks if I would dress a man for trot up… at this stage why not! Perhaps not in the high low coat though! Cue Richard Skelt, Dicky to his friends. We hastily meet at Casewick Stud the following week for a fitting, fizz and flan (okay quiche, but I liked the f’s)! We look through my sketches, pick a waistcoat and jacket, decide on some tweeds, I feel awkward measuring a man’s bottom and biceps, who isn’t my husband, I’ve never properly met Dicky before, and I’m driving so can’t have any more than one small glass of prosecco! - all awkwardness down to Casewick stud’s and Dicky’s jokes, cheeky lot!

Job done; tweed ordered double quick from Abraham Moon with the help of my ever-patient Account Manager Sarah Powell - she was on holiday somewhere abroad when I rang! Lining chosen and ordered. Buttons sorted.

I set to work making the patterns, then toiles before attempting the tweed versions. This was all squeezed in after work at night, and during toddler naps. It’s harvest time after all, and the busiest time for the biggest crop I manage, Hybrid rye - I’ve been to Germany and back in a day for a meeting with my ‘proper job’ and can firmly say coffee has been my friend this last few weeks.

Anyway, to avoid waffling both jacket and waistcoat are complete! I’m thrilled with the result, so is Dicky, I think! Although when I told him both had taken 32 hours combined, I think I could have given him a pink fluffy ensemble and he might have worn them for me!

I’m immensely excited about the week ahead! I can’t wait to see all that hard work run down the trot up strip on Wednesday, I mean Dicky’s hard work and determination especially. Eventers work so hard to get themselves and their horses ready for trials like Burghley. It’s the pinnacle of the calendar, and as spectators we get to see the best of the best! Thursday will then be spent with my wonderful friend Nicole, catching up with other close friends, and meeting new potential retailers. Friday is a best friend and Godchildren day, toddlers and picnics! Saturday is always too busy for me, but I’ll be back on Sunday to watch Dicky trot up again and sit on the edge of my seat for the show jumping with my little family in toe.

NB. The high-low coat… I fully intended to make this in time for Burghley for myself. Unfortunately, I’ve run out of time, I’ll have it ready very soon though and let you all have a good look via Instagram and Facebook.

Here’s to a successful harvest 2019 (what’s left of it), higher grain prices please, Brexit sorted one way or the other, and a safe and enjoyable Burghley to all involved!

With love, and the Best of British

Heather x

Heather Oldfield