Dressage Dreams and a Goalkeeper’s Regime - Part 9


Happy New Year and welcome to 2014! Let’s hope it is a wonderful year for everyone. There is something lovely about the beginning of the year where you can look forward to new events and start to make plans for a sunny getaway, after tucking all the Christmas decorations away for another year. The Begovic household now has officially started the countdown clock to Bosnia’s first World Cup game against Argentina on the 15th of June at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro. Asmir is delighted with his group and is excited to play against three very talented teams. For me, 2014 is the start of a new competition year for my horse Foxy and I. I am very excited and have been looking forward to this for a very long time. But a more important event to prioritise now is the chase and capture of three points today against Everton. I am sure that will help alleviate many sore heads out there from last night’s New Year’s celebrations!

At least with January 1st, we can look forward to lighter evenings now we are on the right side of winter. However I sense that snow will likely plague us early on this year with it having yet to make an appearance. With horses and children alike in their love of freedom to roam, snow’s ability to inflict involuntary confinement to the indoors always poses as a challenge each year. Children though can bask in its novelty with snowmen and sledging, but horses are confined to their stables, which can prove testing to animals that prefer free roaming. Plus I don’t think footballers enjoy training or playing in snow much either. So let’s see if we kick off 2014 with a white winter.

What a way to see out 2013

As I have mentioned before, the career of a footballer means certain sacrifices are a necessity including the celebration of New Year’s Eve with fixtures always on New Year’s Day. It is early to bed for guys along with the kids. That means that is can be nice to celebrate it a little early if the opportunity arises.

Asmir and I were fortunate to have had a chance to spend a few evenings catching up with family and friends to celebrate the end of the year. Our evening at Olympia was a wonderful success, thoroughly enjoyed by all in attendance, as we were treated to delicious food and champagne whilst watching world class Dressage. We were delighted to see Great Britain’s, Charlotte DuJardin at only 28 and 11 year-old Valegro, capture their third and final world record- they got a hat trick! It is incredible at such a young age in the sport of Dressage, that they now hold the Grand Prix, Grand Prix Special and Grand Prix Freestyle world record. I can see that standing for a very long time. The evening’s black tie dress code meant that Asmir wore a tuxedo for the first time ever so I had to include a picture of that.

The concert that Calvin Harris and Tiesto performed at the Phones 4 You Arena was incredible and even enjoyable to the 'non-ravers' amongst our group. I have been a huge Tiesto fan for a very long time, so when Asmir told me to grab my bag shortly after we arrived and settled in as it was time for a surprise- my face must have been a picture when Asmir then said- “you’re going to meet Tiesto”!! Tiesto’s stage manager instantly appeared and escorted our group backstage to Tiesto’s dressing room where we were promptly invited in and greeted by the main man himself. I was completely star struck but I managed to hold my dignity and myself together thankfully. He was incredibly welcoming and friendly. It has to be one of the best surprises I have ever had! He asked for any track requests and off he went to go on and perform one of the best set’s I have ever seen him play. Olympia and Tiesto are two nights that I will never forget!

Congratulations are in order for Abbey and Aljaz on their Strictly Come Dancing win! She was absolutely amazing and it was great to see that Peter managed to make it to London to be there after Stoke’s win against Aston Villa.

Nicolle x