NINETY-nine point nine per cent of those at this weekend’s Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials will be praying for blue skies and to bask in June summer sunshine.
But not Bingley amateur rider Charlotte Brear for whom the wetter the better on board mud-loving Manor Missile.
Brear is Yorkshire’s sole amateur competing in the week’s flagship CCI three-star event with the White Rose triumvirate completed by Huddersfield’s Oliver Townend and Northallerton’s Nicola Wilson.
The latter duo are regulars at Bramham and indeed top level competition whereas Brear is competing in her maiden CCI three-star and only her second Bramham.
And for Brear, similar conditions to last year’s monsoon would be just what the doctor ordered ahead of today’s cross country test.
A deluge of the wet stuff turned parts of last year’s park into a mudbath as cars were towed out of car parks.
But Brear also says those conditions helped her to a very respectable 18th-placed finish in the CIC three-star event.
The rider says the giant Manor Missile, also known as Siren, is a natural in soggy conditions, as Brear makes no apology in preparing for a weekend Bramham rain dance.
Brear told The Yorkshire Post: “Last year at Bramham in the mud he absolutely loved it – he was like a pig in mud and the wetter and the muddier the better.
“Hopefully we are wanting a bit more rain as he prefers the mud.
“I don’t like the hard ground as he’s got such big feet so the hard ground does not suit him at all.
“Hopefully it will rain, not that everybody else is wishing that.”
Whatever the weather and however Brear fares this weekend, there is no denying the rider’s stellar progress on Manor Missile since graduating from London’s Royal Vetinary College in 2010.
The purchase of her equine star is a moment that will stay with the rider forever.
Brear explained: “I had him on loan when he was three and I broke him in with the help of Sam Drake whose mum owns the yard where he us based.
“Then on my 21st birthday my mum and dad came down into my bedroom and they were like come on you need to get up.
“It was like 5am or something.
“I’d been out the night before with my friends so I was like ‘I’m not getting up’ but I got up and out on the drive was Siren with a massive bow around his neck.
“It was amazing but I don’t think I cried – it was too early – but I did in the end and this horse has made me cry more than anything.
“I was told by numerous people that he’d be too big to event and too big for me but he’s just ace. I just love him.
“He’s been good but he didn’t event when he was a youngster because I was at university in London.
“While he was young he just show jumped on a a weekend – he didn’t do a lot really.
“When we began eventing it went terribly at the start as he used to stop at water jumps.
“But luckily he seems to have got a bit more confident and then we have just gone up the grades. I do appreciate how good he has been going up the grades and he’s never really disgraced himself yet, touch wood. I don’t think he’s the most talented horse.
“I just think he’s got the biggest heart and if you ask him to jump he’ll say how high.”
Just as Brear is honest in admitting her preference for rain this weekend – and in stating her loyalty for Manor Missile for whom this weekend is the acid test as to whether eventual ascension to CCI four-stars is in the pipeline.
Brear pondered: “I think he can go higher. I go for lessons with Ben Hobday and he’s mentioned a few times going up a level. But I’ll see how Bramham goes and assess it.”