As mentioned in the closing remarks of my last blog instalment, Facebook really is now the best way of keeping up with the very latest goings on at Bramham - especially if yours truly continues to update this blog as infrequently as I have been doing so recently!
Anyhow, since the last update a lot has happened, and about the only thing that we have not had is any rain! Although we have been blessed with blue skies and gorgeous sunshine for a number of weeks now, rain is required to make the grass grow. We always have the contingency of watering the course at Bramham, and this year will prove no exception. We have been watering some areas for several weeks already, mainly those areas where David and his team have carried out some ground works over the winter and the dry weather has meant that the grass seed (and in some places turf) has not come on as well as I would have liked. More recently we rented in two Verti-drain machines, which basically punch small holes into the ground so that the water gets right into the ground and to the grass's roots. The lack of rain had meant that the surface of the ground was so hard that water would not have soaked in well. But following the work of the verti-drains, the rain that is now forecast and the watering which we will continue to do - the going should be fantastic.
Work in the office always picks up around this time, and the team downstairs have been very busy sorting out the packs of information and tickets that get sent out to our small army of volunteers and Officials - without whose assistance we could not put the Event on. The telephone Box Office has been open for a week now, and bookings are flooding in. The best and simplest way to book in advance remains via the internet though. There is a chance that the Caravan Park may sell out for the first ever time, and as such if you are planning on coming to camp I would recommend booking soon to avoid potential disappointment.
Various site changes are planned for this year largely as a result of bottle necks and traffic jams that have developed as the Event has grown over the last few years, but also due to changes to the Cross Country Course - including relocating the Start/Finish. I am looking forward to seeing how everything pans out, although as always with changes, there is a small degree of trepidation. I would love a time machine so I could watch how everything goes, but then nip back to now just incase there are any tweaks still needed!!
The only downside of my dual role of Estate Manager and Event Director, is that at this time of year when the Horse Trials are getting really busy it would be great to be able to put everything else on the Estate ‘on pause'. However that would be too simple, and everything else on the Estate is progressing at its usual rapid and busy pace including some exciting renovation works to the leaking T-Pond in the gardens. This is a fairly massive undertaking, and the project is scheduled to commence immediately after the Leeds Festival.
Closer to home Beth has been in ‘exam hell' for the last two weeks, only broken by a wedding last weekend in Suffolk, but she has now finished her exams - at last and will be at home for the next few weeks before she starts a year of assorted veterinary work placements and then graduates this time next year.
The coming days and weeks will be very busy, but equally exciting, and I promise to try and update this more often!!