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Lead Up To London: The Olympics are almost here

Now that the selection tsunami has passed, it’s time to focus all my energy on the really important thing, which is my Olympic preparation… It was impossible not to be distracted by the events of the past weeks, but having the mental toughness to overcome such distractions is a very important part of being an Olympic athlete. Now I am focused solely on achieving my personal goal, which is riding the best test of my life, and doing the best I possibly can for our team. Thankfully Sancette arrived back in the UK without getting up to any of his old tricks in the truck… He stayed in his special cage that we had arranged for him, without being able to escape this time. I decided the best plan for me was to go straight to where our training camp is to be held, at Frensham manor. In spite of the fact that the surroundings are very nice, and the stables huge, Sancette seemed to miss our German home, and was very unsettled for the first few days. After changing to a smaller stable with an outside view, he seemed happier with the arrangements, and has now put weight back on and is working super well. Frensham Manor is a very well appointed equestrian centre, and most importantly the indoor and outdoor surfaces are very good, with the outdoor being similar to what we might expect in London. There is lots of space to hack out in the beautiful Surrey countryside, and Linda Hoad our hostess has been very welcoming. In the next few days Lyndal, Kristy and Rozzie will arrive, and I am looking forward to a bit of team bonding. I love working with the other riders, and discussing training issues. It’s a great opportunity to bounce round ideas and training tips. Next week Ton de Ridder arrives and I look forward to a final tune up with him. Ton has warmed me up for many of my tests while I have been here, and I find him very positive, and he seems to understand Sancette very well. As the Olympics draw closer, I am trying to resist the temptation to overwork my horse. This is a trap that it is easy to fall into when having just one horse to ride, and not much else to do, compared to the normal busy pace of life. Luckily I was able to bring Umbro on a private arrangement with Linda, so i can still stay fitter riding a second horse…This is a luxury I have never had before at other Olympics, and I think will really help with my riding fitness. Staying fit is really important, so I have kept up with some gym work and Pilates, and now and then an occasional game of golf with Carol – who has secretly been practising, and is now much better than me! Wednesday is Uniform Day, so we all trek down to the Olympic village and collect our Uniforms. This will be a good chance to catch up with the whole of the Australian Equestrian team, which is a pretty big group considering we are represented in all disciplines. Next blog I can tell you a little about the Olympic Village, and how our camp is going. Cheers, Mary



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