Alec Lochore: May 2015

Time keeps on ticking and the wheels are being put into motion as we get closer to the Longines FEI European Eventing Championship. The 100 day milestone is fast approaching so keep an eye out on our socials channels for some exciting initiatives to mark this.

The team and I have spent some time with our PR team at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials to discuss, plan and initiate actions to ensure we have an effective communications programme in place for the months ahead. This was all whilst juggling my role as Technical Delegate at Badminton which was great, and fantastic to hear so many people and international riders talking about the European Championship.

Shortly after Badminton we spent a couple of very important days with the Federation Equestrian International (FEI), the international governing body for all Olympic equestrian disciplines, and our Title Partner Longines which was very productive. The Scottish weather certainly didn’t go unnoticed with all four seasons making an appearance in one day! The FEI and Longines really got to experience Blair Castle in its full beauty and we are excited for you to see this as the main back drop of the event in September. Furthermore, we had a constructive meeting with the broadcasting team who continued to formulate the plans for the best camera positioning to enhance the images of the event and the sport in general.

On site I am very lucky to have custody of an incredible piece of equipment, the Toro Groundmaster 4500-d, kindly lent to us by our Official Ground Care Partner, The Toro Company. The company is a global leader in turf and landscape maintenance, already renowned for its association with distinguishedworldwide events such as The Open Championship at St Andrews and Super Bowl, so we are in great hands to ensure exceptional ground conditions for the European Championship.  I have to say it gave me a few hours of enjoyment as I started to carve a neat path through the now growing grass, and for the first time I can really visualise many of the new areas of Ian Starks cross country course.

At Mitsubishi Motors Badminton we also took ownership of a Mitsubishi L200 and Nicky, our Assistant Event Director clocked up its first few miles travelling to Scotland. Lydia, Cordelia, Sophie and Lucy are busy putting to test the L200; we don’t know how we coped without it!

Last week we all took a little time out of our busy schedules and went for a team dinner, which was a brilliant time to relax, something that is a rare occasion!

On another note, I am busy with the final preparations in the build up to the EQ Life Houghton International Horse Trials (28 – 31 May) for which I am also responsible (although Gemma and Sam are the two who actually know what is going on!). We are all ready to welcome the trade stands, visitors, Owners and competitors to the event, we look forward to some fierce competition in the British leg of the FEI CICO3* Eventing Nations Cup – it is very pleasing to have such a high quality field with at least 7 teams competing. I wish the British Team who has been selected to compete in the Nations Cup the very best of luck.