Articles Written 139
Article Views 274,764

Tilly Berendt

Achievements

Become an Eventing Nation Blogger

About Tilly Berendt

Latest Articles Written

Friday Video and UK Notes from World Equestrian Brands: The Willberry Story

Hannah Francis after performing the test ride at Tattersalls in 2016. Photo courtesy of Jack Lyons Media.

It’s been a big week here in the UK, with the announcement of the GB eventing team for the forthcoming WEG causing a ripple of controversy across social media. But there’s no time to dwell on these things – the CCI3* and CIC3* Event Rider Masters finale at Blair Castle is swiftly approaching, and then it’s straight on to Burghley, before we head to Tryon. Who needs sleep (or sanity) anyway?!

UK Weekend Preview:

Somerford Park International (2): [Ride Times] [Website] [Cross Country Videos]

Firle Place International: [Ride Times] [Website] [Cross Country Videos]

Solihull (2): [Ride Times] [Website]

Events Opening this Weekend:

17th: Moreton Morrell (2) – BE90-N – [EnterWarwickshire (September 21-22)

17th: Kelsall Hill (2) – BE80-I with BE80 Championships – [EnterCheshire (September 21-23)

Events Balloting this Weekend:

19th: Burnham Market (2) – BE80-N – [EnterNorfolk (September 9)

Team Jung runs alongside as Michi and Sam finish their cross-country round, Willberry Pony in situ. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Friday Video: The History of Hannah Francis’ Willberry Wonder Pony

Just over two years ago, the eventing community lost one of its most compellingly positive, tough, and determined family members. Hannah Francis was just eighteen when she passed away, but the impact she left on the sport was unmatched. Now, her Willberry Wonder Pony charity works to raise vital funds for osteosarcoma research, while granting the equestrian wishes of those diagnosed with a serious illness.

We were really pleased to have the @willberrywonderpony team join us for #ponyeuros2018, especially as we got to include their jump in our showjumping course! It's a brilliant cause, so if you didn't get to pop and see them last week make sure you had over to their profile now to find out more and to help kick cancer's butt! #bishopburton #bishopburtonequine #bishopburtoncollege #fei #feiglobal #feipony #feiponyriders #feieuropeanchampionships #feiponyeuros #ponyeuropeans #ponyeuros #ponycompetition #ponyriding #horsecompetition #horseshow #eastridingofyorkshire #eastriding #eastyorkshire #myeastriding #myeastyorkshire #kickingcancersbutt #willberrywonderpony #willbery #cancercharity #showjumping #showjumper

A post shared by Bishop Burton Equine Centre (@bishopburtonequine) on

To find out more about the charity, and to see how you can get involved, click here. Hannah’s legacy is a unique and remarkable one – let’s take it worldwide.

#kickingcancersbutt

Friday Video and UK Notes from World Equestrian Brands: Pony Power on Show

GB's eventing team got off to a flying start in the dressage this morning, ending the day in gold medal position. 🥇 Part 2 of the competition is tomorrow afternoon. Come and watch for free! Can't make it? We'll be recording all of the action ready for a special highlights video, which will air on Saturday at around 1.30pm, before the cross country starts. 📺 Check out the live stream schedule, start lists and results by clicking on the link in our bio @bishopburtonequine. 📷 @adamfanthorpe #ponyeuros2018 #bishopburton #bishopburtonequine #bishopburtoncollege #fei #feiglobal #feipony #feiponyriders #feieuropeanchampionships #feiponyeuros #ponyeuropeans #ponyeuros #ponycompetition #ponyriding #horsecompetition #horseshow #eastridingofyorkshire #eastriding #eastyorkshire #myeastriding #myeastyorkshire #dressagepony #dressageponies #eventing #eventingpony

A post shared by Bishop Burton Equine Centre (@bishopburtonequine) on

A confession: my name is Tilly Berendt, and I am a pony addict. Seriously – the fiestier the better, the mere sight of a pair of clicking heels and barely-visible devil horns turns me into a living heart-eye emoji. I’m not sure where the obsession comes from – I’ve always been too tall for them, and graduated onto horses sharpish when I was a kid. Maybe that’s it; maybe it’s all about wanting what I can’t have, but no matter the root cause, I’m hooked for life. Find me a small thing who can go all the way – Teddy O’Connor, you were my dreamboat – and I will build the pedestal on which it can stand (on its tippy-toes, probably).

Ugh. I die. Look at his teeny weeny earnet, look at his round little pony bum, look at that Werther’s Original coat that only seems to appear on equines under 14hh. The. Dream. I might be competing myself this weekend, but I won’t be thinking about anything except the world’s best eventing ponies in their lil pony war at Bishop Burton.

UK Weekend Preview:

Aston-le-Walls (4): [Ride Times] [Cross-Country Videos]

Hartpury International: [Ride Times] [Website] [Live Scores]

Bishop Burton European Pony Championships: [Website] [Live Stream] [Live Scores]

Bold Heath: [Ride Times] [Website] [Live Scores]

Dalkeith: [Ride Times]

Events Opening this Weekend:

11th: Pontispool (2) – BE80-I with 90RF – [EnterSomerset (September 15-17)

11th: Munstead (2) – BE80-BE100 with 90RF – [EnterSurrey (September 15-16)

12th: Wee Burgie – BE80-N with 100RF – [EnterMoray (September 16)

Events Balloting this Weekend:

11th: Sapey (2) – BE80-N – [EnterHerefordshire (September 1-2)

Friday Video: Pony Power at the Europeans

Of all the major championships, the Pony Europeans gets, perhaps, the least attention. But it shouldn’t: many successful FEI pony riders go on to successful stints in the Junior and Young Rider teams, and plenty of them have gone on to senior careers. And their mounts? All grit, gumption, and a fair helping of that devilish pony spark that propels them over fences bigger than they are. They’re like four-star horses who have shrunk in the wash, and they might be your new favourite thing.

This week, the 2018 Pony Europeans are taking the North of England by storm, and you can keep up with all the action this weekend on their comprehensive live stream. But if you need a bit more convincing to commit, check out this video, showing some of the highlights from the 2014 Championships. If your idea of successful ponies only stretches as far as the hunter divisions, please allow me to blow your mind.

Friday Video and UK Notes from World Equestrian Brands: Age Ain’t Nothin’ But a Number

Jumping into the weekend

A post shared by Ashley Harvey (@hd_eventing) on

Welcome to Friday, Eventing Nation! With the sticky summer in full swing, it’s yet another weekend-eve on which I’m surrounded by grimy tack, furiously polishing everything in preparation for tomorrow’s competition. The sun is setting and I can hear live music from one of the bars in town, trickling through the trees and down the hill to the farm. Sure, I could be out there, but there’s an early alarm tomorrow and, frankly, I wouldn’t have my weekend start any other way. I know I’m in good company in this brand of madness.

Whether you’re competing, schooling, spectating, or simply having a well-deserved chilled out weekend, enjoy it — I hope the sun continues to shine on your corner of the world.

UK Weekend Preview:

Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing [Website] [Ride Times] [Cross Country Videos]

Hendersyde Park [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Skipton (2) [Website] [Ride Times] [Cross Country Videos]

Events Opening this Weekend:

3rd: Frickley Park (2) – BE80-BE105 – [EnterSouth Yorkshire (September 8-9)

3rd: Frenchfield (2) – BE80-BE105, with BE90RF – [EnterCumbria (September 8-9)*

5th: Burnham Market (2) – BE80-N – [EnterNorfolk (September 9)*

Events Balloting this Weekend:

4th: Wellington – BE100-A with 5yo classes – [EnterHampshire (August 25-27)

Friday Video: Age Ain’t Nothin’ But a Number

He’s nearing his 80th birthday, but that doesn’t stop racehorse trainer Ron Thompson from running his yard just as he’s always done — with vim, vigour, and above all, a passion for the horses. This week’s Friday video delves into the admirable philosophy of this impressive man, who still rides out the trickiest horses every morning and has the sort of twinkle in his eye that spells the best kind of trouble. His secret? A dram of whiskey before bed — the same tipple of choice as a certain Mr Jung. We don’t want to say that the golden elixir gives you superpowers, but…

Ron Thompson – the 79-year-old who rides out every day and loves the game

A remarkable man – 79-year-old Ron Thompson rides out every single morning, trains from the yard he built himself and still absolutely loves the game. Luke Harvey went to meet him…

Posted by At The Races on Friday, July 27, 2018

 

Friday Video from World Equestrian Brands: The Thunder from Down Under

Paul Tapner and Bonza King of Rouge make easy work of the International arena’s varied terrain to take the win in the MS Amlin Eventers’ Challenge. Photo courtesy of the All England Jumping Course, Hickstead.

It’s a short, sweet, and exceptionally late Friday video for you all this week, chums, as I’ve just spent the better part of two hours chillin’ on the side of the motorway with one very sad, very immobile Peugeot. It sounds like it could be the beginning of a Journey song, but for the fact that it didn’t really result in a meet-cute, just a nice lady with a big rip in the bum of her pyjama bottoms scooping me up and taking me off in search of fuel. Yes, I stranded myself on one of the busiest roads in Britain on a Friday night because I pushed the limits of the little red light. I hang my head in shame.

Anyway, as a result, we’re going to cruise right on to the good stuff today – and what good stuff it is! We’re in the middle of the second Hickstead week of the summer here in the UK, and some of the world’s best showjumpers have descended upon the hallowed turf of the All England Jumping Course to battle it out for Nations Cup and Grand Prix glory. But it’s not all showjumping – yesterday, the eventers got involved, too.

Winner, winner, champagne dinner! Photo courtesy of the All England Jumping Course, Hickstead.

The MS Amlin Eventers’ Challenge is a fast and furious romp around the famous International arena, featuring a modified version of the Derby bank, a devil’s dyke, and a twisty, turny, madcap course of obstacles. This year’s competitors included four-star eventers Georgie Strang and Imogen Murray, as well as up-and-comer Will Rawlin and last year’s winner Paul Tapner.

It was Tapner’s turn to triumph again, riding his four-star mount Bonza King of Rouges.

“I’ve had the last 12 months to prepare myself. I knew exactly how fast I went last year and I knew exactly how much faster I was going to go, and how many fewer strides or extra strides I was going to do between various fences. It was that calculated,” said Taperz, who refers to himself as an ‘elite amateur’ these days, as he spends much of his time working for the Event Rider Masters series.

It doesn’t look like the necessary scaling back of rides has diminished his ability to ride to the clock while under pressure – check out how his round played out, and what he had to do to steal four extra seconds on runner-up Georgie Strang‘s time:

MS Amlin Eventers Challenge

Once, twice, Tapner's a winner: Paul Tapner and Bonza King of Rouges win the MS Amlin Eventers Challenge for the second year in a row.#Longines #Hickstead #SupportYourNation #Safety365

Posted by The All England Jumping Course, Hickstead on Thursday, July 26, 2018

 

 

Legendary Event Horse Ringwood Cockatoo Passes Away at Age 27

In an emotional Facebook statement, Germany’s Bettina Hoy announced today that her two-time four-star winner and Athens Olympics partner Ringwood Cockatoo had been euthanised at the age of 27.

“It is with a very heavy heart that I write this post,” read the statement. “Ringwood Cockatoo decided today that it was time for his last big journey. He gave me the proudest moment of my sporting career and although I don’t have the medal to prove it, to me he will always be the Olympic champion. RIP Cockatoo.

“My biggest thank you goes to Claire Llewelyn, who gave him the most wonderful time and home when he retired from the international circuit.”

Ringwood Cockatoo enjoyed a long and illustrious career at the top level of the sport, winning ten times at the three-star level and twice at four-star, triumphing in the inaugural CCI4* at Luhmühlen in 2005, and at Pau in 2008.

He finished ninth at the Athens Olympics in 2004, and helped his team to a bronze medal at the 2005 European Championships and a gold medal at the 2006 World Equestrian Games. In 2007, he would go on to claim the individual bronze at the Pratoni European Championships.

Bred in Ireland, the reliable first-phase leader was produced to two-star by Switzerland’s Nadine Sola-Perret, before being sold on. He was initially piloted by Bettina’s former husband, Andrew, but the ride was soon passed on to Bettina.

At the time of his retirement, in an emotional ceremony at Boekelo in 2009, Ringwood Cockatoo had amassed an impressive 2,087 British Eventing points, and was, at that point, the most successful German event horse of all time.

He then spent the 2010 season showing young Thai rider Promton Kingwan the ropes at the BE100 (Training) and Novice (Preliminary) levels, before moving back to the UK in 2011 to enjoy his retirement — and plenty of outings to dressage competitions — with Claire Llewelyn, wife of commentator Justin. The Llewelyns had also provided a happy retirement home for Leslie Law‘s late superstar, Shear H20.

Our thoughts are with Bettina, Claire, and all of Ringwood Cockatoo’s connections and admirers.

Friday Video and UK Notes from World Equestrian Brands: Welcome Back, Jonty

Jonty Evans and Cooley Rorkes Drift. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Even with all the excitement of Aachen and Rebecca Farm (and the NAYC, of course!), there’s been one thing on every member of the eventing communities lips today — Jonty Evans has woken up, at long, long last, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome him back.

There are only a finite number of words in the English language, and none of them come quite close enough to touching upon what it is to lose — however temporarily — a person you care about. For our sprawling eventing family, Jonty is a special sort of figurehead; he has been a true friend to many, a source of support and advice to as many more, and a way into the heart of the sport for several thousand people, who have found themselves welcomed into the inner circle by this incredibly special man.

The last month and a half has been rather like riding a rollercoaster in the dark, sans seatbelt, and I think I can speak for us all when I say that the relief of hearing that Jonty is through the hardest and most uncertain part of the battle is incomprehensibly great.

You have all shown your support so incredibly over the past weeks, with seas of green as far as the eye can see, out eventing and beyond. Let’s continue this support now, and show Jonty just how much we care. There’s a long fight ahead, but with our troops behind him, he will never stand along on the frontline.

UK Weekend Preview:

Aston-le-Walls (3) [Ride Times] [Cross Country Videos]

Little Downham (2) [Ride Times] [Cross Country Videos]

Warwick Hall (3) [Website] [Ride Times]

Launceston [Ride Times]

Events Opening This Weekend:

20th: Keysoe (3) – BE80-I, with 4/5yo classes – [EnterBedfordshire (August 24-26)

20th: Shelford Manor (2) – BE90-N, with 4yo classes and Regional Finals – [EnterNottinghamshire (August 25-26)*

20th: Treborough Hill (2) – BE80-N, with 4/5yo classes – [EnterSomerset (August 25-26)

21st: Wellington – BE100-A, with 5yo classes – [EnterHampshire (August 25-27)

Events Balloting This Weekend:

21st: Bold Heath  – BE80-N, with 4/5yo classes – [EnterCheshire (August 11-12)

21st: Dalkeith (2) – BE80-I – [EnterEdinburgh (August 11-12)

Friday Video: 

To celebrate the first huge hurdle overcome in Jonty’s recovery, our Friday video this week is this compilation, put together by the donor group Art’s Amazing Family, and part-owner of Cooley Rorkes Drift, Fred Moss. While their Badminton may not have gone to plan, for the extensive family surrounding one man and his horse, just to be there was an incredibly emotive experience. The Family, both within the donor group, and the wider eventing community, will be behind you every step of the way, Jonty — just as we were last year. Keep kicking on.

Friday News and UK Notes from World Equestrian Brands: Life with Laura Collett

When you’re a freelance equestrian journalist, you kind of give up on the traditional concept of that ‘Friday feeling.’ Fridays, after all, are usually spent on the frontline, trekking across collecting rings and calculating PBs at events, with the busiest – and best – part of the week yet to come. Sometimes they’re spent at home, desk-bound, getting as much written as possible to accommodate an outing the following week. Or, sometimes, you end up doing a rather different job, all in the name of equestrian media.

Such has been my Friday. Horse&Rider magazine arranged to use our yard – the lovely Littleton Manor, based just south of London – for two days of cover- and feature-shoots, and today, my #supermeah Arabella and I were roped in to model for a training feature. Want to find the holes in your schooling with incredible clarity? Try to demonstrate ‘what the judge wants to see’ – you’ll find them really quickly. After a few minor disagreements about how certain (formerly easy!) movements should be executed, we were well on our way, and Bells even got the chance to pose for the cover of the magazine – so if you need me, I’ll be working on subduing the rapidly-inflating ego attached to a certain Queen of Sass. Just another day in the office, tbh.

UK Weekend Preview:

Stafford (2) [Ride Times]

Eridge [Website] [Ride Times]

Forgandenny (2) [Ride Times]

Northallerton (2) [Website] [Ride Times]

Events Opening this Weekend:

13th: Somerford Park International (2) – BE100-CIC2* – [EnterCheshire (August 17-19)

13th: Bicton Arena International (3) – BE100-CIC2* – [EnterDevon (August 17-19)

13th: Firle Place International – BE90-CIC1* – [EnterEast Sussex (August 18-19)

14th: Solihull (2) – BE80-N – [EnterWest Midlands (August 18-19)

14th: Cumwhinton – BE80-N, with 4- and 5yo classes – [EnterCarlisle (August 18-19)

Events Balloting this Weekend:

14th: Skipton (2) – BE80-N – [EnterNorth Yorkshire (August 4-5)

Friday Video: Life in the Balance with Laura Collett

In the latest of the Event Rider Masters‘ series of short videos, we get to know Laura Collett, who held the series lead until she was usurped by Chris Burton last weekend at Barbury. Find out how she got bitten by the eventing bug, and meet her up-and-coming superstars London 52 and Dacapo. Then, don’t forget to head over to the ERM website tomorrow, as the penultimate leg of the 2018 series kicks off at Jardy!

The next in our Life in the Balance Series features Laura Collett who was pipped to the top of the 2018 ERM Series leader board by Chris Burton last week…Can she regain it here at Haras de Jardy? We’re pretty fond of this one 🙌🏻

Posted by Event Rider Masters on Friday, July 13, 2018

Comeback Kings and Queens Reign Supreme at Barbury

Tom Carlile and Upsilon successfully defend their Barbury ERM title. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“He has almost too much talent for a rough sport like this,” mused France’s Tom Carlile, looking back at an up-and-down season with his much-admired Upsilon. Just hours later, that talent would come good at a pivotal moment.

Few could deny the Selle Francais stallion’s raw ability and charisma, but a spate of bad luck, starting in the latter half of the 2017 season, cast some doubts about Upsilon’s consistency. Those were cast aside this weekend, as the pair claimed a seemingly effortless win, for the second year running, in Barbury’s Event Rider Masters CIC3*.

Tom Carlile reasserts his dominance at Barbury. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

So how did they do it? At face value, three ways:

  • A “relaxed…maybe a bit too casual” dressage test, which scored a 24.9 and earned them the joint-lead, shared with Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night.
  • A clear showjumping round over one of the most fiendishly difficult ERM showjumping tests yet, with the average round costing over 11 penalties, and plenty sailing past the 30 mark.
  • A quick, confident charge across the country, adding just 1.2 time penalties to preclude another characteristic FOD, but good enough to take the win by a margin of nearly three points.

After Upsilon’s win in this class last year, it was a last-minute tactical manouevre to bring the horse back. A disappointing Arville had seen the pair come to grief in both jumping phases, before opting to retire on course and reroute.

“It was a superb win last year – all stats aside – and I felt that the horse really liked Barbury,” explained Carlile. “After Arville, I needed to get him confident and bring him somewhere he got a good feeling, with a clear course. Even though the course has been beefed up this year, it was still right. By the time he jumped fence five [the SAP Brush with Technology – a chunk brush fence with a sharp downhill incline on a curving line to a skinny arrowhead], it showed the mood he was in. If he was going to have any issues on course, we’d have seen it there.”

Tom Carlile and Upsilon. Photo by William Carey.

Upsilon, who has finished in the top five in fourteen of his seventeen international runs, made his squad debut for France at last year’s European Championships – but the week didn’t go to plan, and the then-nine-year-old was eliminated for accumulated refusals on cross country day.

“He had a severe bone oedema in his fetlock after the Europeans, and it really took until April to get him back to normal. His first competition back was at Houghton Hall CCI2*, and when he won that, I decided to enter him in Arville’s ERM. But our mistakes there just showed a lack of match practice – this is the only horse I have at this level, and when you have a yard full of youngsters and kick around at Novice, and only do a three-star every three months, it really shows.”

Tom Carlile and Upsilon. Photo by Anna Franklin.

With injury rehabilitation came extra training considerations, as Carlile strategically rebuilt Upsilon’s bruised confidence following their trip to Strzegom. To do so, he enlisted the help of French team coach Thierry Touzaint.

“Thierry had us schooling lots of skinnies on a surface while I was bringing him back,” said Carlile. “He was really able to put his finger on what was going on. He’s been great to work with – he really appreciates the horse, and I think he quite likes me, too!”

Tom Carlile and Upsilon. Photo by Ben Clark.

Just over a year into their exciting partnership, Gemma Tattersall and Clive Smith’s Pamero 4 made a steady climb up the leaderboard to finish in second place, adding just 1.6 time penalties to their dressage score to finish on 28.8. This is the first podium appearance this season for last year’s series winner, and the eleven-year-old Hanoverian’s first international run since making his Badminton debut earlier this year, where he finished 22nd.

“At last! It’s taken a little while, but we’re back. He was mega today, I’m so happy with him,” beamed Tattersall. “He’s been feeling absolutely awesome, so I was feeling quietly confident coming here. Badminton did him the world of good – I rode him there with time faults very much in mind and didn’t try to make the time, and that approach has really brought him on. Here, I found that he didn’t empty on me.”

Gemma Tattersall and Pamero 4 celebrate a fruitful first year together. Photo by Ben Clark.

Pamero 4 has created something of a management quandary for Tattersall and her team, who have tried a plethora of tricks to try to get the poor-doer to eat and maintain condition. But, says Tattersall, he seems to have turned a corner since his spring four-star.

“He’s eaten all week here, and even ate his breakfast this morning, even though it’s cross-country day,” said Tattersall. “He lives out now – he and Arctic Soul go out next to each other on quite a steep hill, and it sounds mad, but I really think being on that hill has helped. He has to walk up and down it, which helps the fitness, he’s relaxed because he’s out, and he just eats grass all the time.”

Chris Burton and Polystar finish on the podium yet again. Photo by Anna Franklin.

It was another weekend on the podium for Arville leg winners Chris Burton and Polystar I, who recorded the only clear round inside the time across the country. The ‘fastest man in the world’ was full of praise for the thirteen-year-old Westphalian, who he produced to CIC3*, claiming the non-Masters CIC3* at Barbury in 2016 on the horse’s first attempt at the level. Despite this, Burton wasn’t interested in keeping the ride on the sales horse, and he passed the ride over to Irish show jumper David Simpson, who competed him in CSI2* and CSI4* classes throughout 2016. Then, in 2017, Trisha Rickards – perhaps best known for owning Jonelle Price‘s CCI4* winners Classic Moet and Faerie Dianimo – stepped in to secure the horse.

After taking 2017 out, Polystar has been back with a vengeance this year, and as the excitement unfolded in the ERM class, it looked as though he’d set an unmatchable precedent. In the end, they would finish third in the hotly-contested section.

Chris Burton and Polystar I. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“I’m really excited about Polystar, because he really feels like a cross-country horse now – he knows the job and he looks for the flags,” said Burton. “It was a privilege to be on a horse like that – everyone says I’m a fast rider, but it’s all about the horses. I’ve been lucky to sit on some incredible horses.”

With three top-ten ERM finishes under his belt so far this season, Polystar is proving a worthy purchase for Rickards: “he was bought to do the ERMs with, and what a horse he is for it,” said Burton.

Flora Harris and Bayano log one of the few clear showjumping rounds of the day. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Flora Harris and Bayano climbed four places to finish fourth, adding just 8.4 time penalties to their dressage score of 29.1, while Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night, joint leaders after the first phase, dropped to fifth after adding a pole and a handful of time faults.

“He just ran on a bit with me in the ring, so we had that pole – although I’d rather an enthusiastic pole than time penalties in there,” mused Halliday-Sharp.

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The showjumping proved the most influential phase of the weekend, with only seven clear rounds out of 36 starters. The Barbury showjumping is always tricky – with its sharply-angled hill, it rides almost like a Derby course – but this year was particularly challenging, with a tight time of 84 seconds and a serious of variable distances that meant riders had to think on their feet at all times. Cricket scores abounded; Jonelle PriceTom McEwenGinny Thompson and Louise Harwood each racked up more than 30 penalties over the poles, while a further eight competitors added more than 10.

Oliver Townend and Cillnabradden Evo. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Some of these took everyone by surprise, such as clear round machine Cillnabradden Evo, who, with rider Oliver Townend, had been sitting third after dressage. A totally uncharacteristic 20 showjumping penalties dropped them right out of contention, and they withdrew before cross country.

Laura Collett and Dacapo on their way to eventual ninth. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

In fact, the field thinned considerably before the final phase began, and only 22 of an original 38 starters went forward to cross-country. High-profile withdrawals included Mark ToddSam GriffithsWilliam Fox-PittSarah Cohen and Blyth Tait, who opted to save their horses for another, perhaps less sweltering, day.

Andrew Nicholson and Swallow Springs jump through the Devoucoux Stonehenge fence. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The cross country proved to be less influential than its predecessor, with six of the 22 starts picking up jumping penalties or failing to complete the course. One of these was Andrew Nicholson, the King of Barbury, who took a surprise tumble late on course from Swallow Springs. Elsewhere, time faults abounded as horses and riders criss-crossed the bowl in sweltering temperatures.

The Barbury 2018 ERM podium: Chris Burton (3rd), Tom Carlile (1st), and Gemma Tattersall (2nd). Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The final leaderboard shook up the current series standings – leader Laura Collett‘s ninth-place finish wasn’t quite enough to hold the top spot, and Chris Burton becomes the series leader going into the fifth leg at Jardy. Laura slips just one spot into second, while last year’s series winner, Gemma Tattersall, moves up into third place.

Gemma Tattersall douses Tom Carlile with champagne atop the podium. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Nicola Wilson and Bulana claimed the win in the non-Masters CIC3*, heading a British top-three and enjoying a return to form after their Luhmuehlen campaign ended on course.

“It’s been a difficult spring,” she said. “Just as the weather started to improve and we could actually get out competing, I fell off and injured my knee. I tried really hard to get back in time for Luhmuehlen, but Bulana is a very sensitive horse, and I’m the one who does all the work with her at home, so it just didn’t work out.”

Nicola Wilson and Bulana take Barbury. Photo by William Carey.

Wilson, who has been long-listed for the World Equestrian Games with Bulana, knew that a good result here would boost their chances of selection, but “I’m quite good at compartmentalising, so I don’t really think about the pressure. Instead, I just thought about what I needed to do in each phase, and did it. With cross country, my aim was to go out a little bit steady, and if she was polite, then she could run on a bit. And that’s what happened, so long may it continue – it’s a huge relief to be back.”

And so the sun set on another glorious Barbury, resplendent in its endless sunshine and open skies and REALLY BAD SUNBURNS. Stay safe out there, kids. Use suncream. Don’t be an idiot.

Lots of love,

Your faithful UK correspondent, currently drowning in a vat of aftersun, and whinging heavily.

The Barbury ERM top ten.

The Barbury non-Masters CIC3* top ten.

Barbury links: Website, Live Scores, ERM Live Stream, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

St James’ Place Barbury CIC3* Course Preview

The Devoucoux Stonehenge fence at 16. Photo courtesy of CrossCountryApp.

Captain Mark Phillips’ Barbury course is a spectator favourite — set in a sprawling natural amphitheatre, it’s possible to see the entirety of the course from one spot, and with its thoughtful touches (a jumpable Stonehenge, anyone?!) it makes for fantastic viewing. For horses and riders, it offers plenty to do — set on a camber, and with plenty of twists and turns, the time is always influential here.

This year, Phillips has reversed the course, which will now finish in the main arena for the ERM class. Due to the rather spectacular heatwave that England has been experiencing, the ground crews have also been hard at work, ensuring that the footing will be in great nick for today’s competitors.

The Keyflow Water Splash at 24. Photo courtesy of CrossCountryApp.

Scroll down for a full preview of the CIC3* cross country course, courtesy of CrossCountryApp and Event Rider Masters. Non-Masters cross country begins at 11.00am BST/6.00am EST, while the ERM cross country begins at 2.15pm BST/9.00am EST. Don’t forget that you can follow along with all of the ERM action through their free livestream, beginning at 11.00am BST/6.00am EST.

Go Eventing!

Barbury links: Website, Live Scores, ERM Live Stream, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Barbury ERM: Liz-Halliday Sharp Ties for Dressage Lead

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night take joint ownership of the top spot in Barbury’s ERM class. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Fresh off the back of last month’s Arville ERM leg, at which Liz Halliday-Sharp withdrew the 15-year-old Fernhill By Night, the pair produced a top-class test at Barbury to joint-lead the Event Rider Masters class after the dressage.

“We went from what was probably our worst score to one of our best,” said Liz after her final score of 24.9 was confirmed. “I’m so thrilled – ‘Blackie’ can be a very lazy horse, and since our test at Arville, which wasn’t great, I’ve worked very hard to get him in his happy place. He really enjoyed himself in there and deserved the score. This is where we’d like him to be all the time.”

Tom Carlile and Upsilon. Photo by Ben Clark/ERM.

The pair were followed into the ring by France’s Tom Carlile and his stallion Upsilon, with whom he won this leg last year and set the ERM dressage record of 20.5. Hot favourites for the top spot, they produced a typically expressive test, but some minor errors precluded them from matching last year’s score. Instead, they landed on a final score of 24.9 – tied with Liz, and creating a match-race for tomorrow’s jumping phases.

“I suppose, if I have to tie with anyone, Upsilon will do,” laughed Liz.

Tom Carlile and Upsilon hold the joint lead in the ERM. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The Anglo-Arab, like Fernhill By Night, comes to Barbury after a disappointing Arville, and Carlile was pleased to finish the first day in a competitive position, despite the dropped marks.

“He got a little too relaxed in the ring and had a little mistake,” he explained. “He warmed up quickly and was really swinging through his back, and then I went in and he felt a bit casual but I didn’t want to kick him along like a pony.”

Upsilon’s work improved throughout the test, and Carlile even enjoyed a loud cheer from the crowd during the horse’s extended canter – although even the Frenchman was forced to admit that the cheer was actually for England’s football team, merrily trouncing Sweden metres away on the big screen.

The final rider into the ring was one of the class’s hot favourites. Oliver Townend and Cillnabradden Evo are something of ERM specialists, winning two legs and finishing runner up once together since the series’ inception. They, too, had come home from Arville empty-handed after retiring on course, and breaking a six-strong streak of first- and second-place finishes in international competitions.

“He’s allowed a blip occasionally. We know each other well, and he’s normally reliable and consistent, so he’ll be back to that,” said Oli. Today, they delivered a 25.3, missing out on the top spot by less than half a point.

“I was very pleased with him. He did pretty much his best job; he’s obviously not as flash as Upsilon, so coming in right after him, we just did the best we could.”

Nicola Wilson and One Two Many’s boldness is rewarded with a great score. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Already a leader in the non-Masters CIC3* aboard BulanaNicola Wilson held the ERM lead for the early part of the afternoon with One Two Many, on a score of 26.4.

“I’m thrilled with him – he was such a good boy,” she enthused. “He has so much ability in the dressage arena, but sometimes he can just say, ‘ooh, look what I can do!’ Now we just have to look ahead to the jumping – there’s always a lot to do at Barbury.”

Sarah Cohen and Treason deliver the goods. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Sarah Cohen and Treason delivered one of their best-ever scores at the level to round out the top five overnight. Sarah, who downsized her operation from eventing professionally to campaigning just her top horse ‘Mr T’, focuses on ERM classes and won 2017’s Wiesbaden leg. This helped to earn her a place on the end-of-series podium.

“When I went down the centreline, I felt I really had him with me,” she said of her test today. “When he’s with me, he’s very good at dressage. We changed our warm-up routine today, too – because it was so hot, I didn’t do more than 15 minutes, but it seemed to work for us.”

It wasn’t to be a day of top marks for everyone – mistakes and moments of tension could be found amongst many of the tests, with only nine combinations scoring sub-30. There was also a surprising early end to the competition for one pair – Izzy Taylor and Director General were eliminated for prolonged disobedience after the horse began to spin and rear at length in the arena.

Tomorrow, both the ERM and the non-Masters CIC3* move into the jumping phases, with each class taking to Barbury’s famous banked main arena in the morning, before heading out to the amphitheatre. We’ll be bringing you all the action as it happens – stay tuned!

The top ten in Barbury’s ERM CIC3* after dressage.

Barbury links: Website, Live Scores, ERM Live Stream, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Friday Video and UK Notes from World Equestrian Brands: Barbury and Beyond

Alex Hua Tian and Don Geniro in the Barbury CIC3*. Photo by William Carey.

Welcome to the (almost) weekend! It’s a seriously exciting one no matter which side of the pond you find yourself on — Stateside, the Great Meadows Nations Cup kicks off tomorrow, and over here, we’re stuck into Barbury CIC3* and ERM. Spoiled? Yes. Grateful? Always. Writing a Barbury report to the dulcet tones of an ABBA tribute band? Okay, maybe just me.

UK Weekend Preview:

St James Place Barbury International Horse Trials [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores] [EN’s Coverage]

Buckminster Park [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Tweseldown (3) [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Bicton Arena (2) [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Kirriemuir (2) [Website] [Ride Times]

Events Opening this Weekend:

7th: Bold Heath – BE80-N – [EnterCheshire (August 11-12)

7th: Dalkeith (2) – BE80-I – [EnterEdinburgh, Scotland (August 11-12)

Events Balloting this Weekend:

6th: Calmsden (1) – BE80-BE100 – [EnterGloucestershire (July 28-29)

6th: Chilham Castle (2) – BE80-N, CIC1*, including 4/5yo classes – [EnterKent (July 28-29)*

6th: Frickley Park – BE80-CCI1* – [EnterSouth Yorkshire (July 27-29)

7th: Cholmondeley Castle – BE90-I – [EnterCheshire (July 28-29)*

Friday Video: 

 

 

 

Nicola Wilson and Bulana Are Best in Barbury CIC3* Dressage

Sunshine, Stonehenge (sort of), and top-class sport – welcome to Barbury. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The St James’ Place Barbury Horse Trials CIC3* is hot. In every sense of the word. In the middle of (apparently) sub-Saharan Wiltshire, the popular event attracts some of the world’s biggest names — and their celebrity-status horses — while the mercury reliably rises until the venue is awash with spectators, draped woozily over the viewing banks like Salvador Dali’s overcooked brainfarts. Perhaps that doesn’t make it sound quite as undeniably delightful as it is — but it really, really is. Artfully placed in a natural amphitheatre in the rolling countryside, its criss-crossing course can be viewed in full from any spot (including, as it happens, the bar), and the entire event fairly beams in the sunshine. It’s English summer at its finest and rarest, and it never disappoints.

Nicola Wilson and Bulana hold onto their first-day lead. Photo by William Carey.

Today, as Novice competitors on course created a vibrant and ever-changing backdrop, the CIC3* dressage came to its conclusion in the main arena. Leading the way by the tiniest margin of 0.1 penalties are Great Britain’s Nicola Wilson and her WEG long-listed mare Bulana, on 25.2. The talented 12-year-old finished second at Luhmühlen in 2017, before claiming individual bronze at the Strzegom Europeans, but their spring season has been slightly less consistent: the pair finished 16th at Houghton CIC3*, before leading after the first two phases in Bramham’s CIC3*. They then withdrew before cross country in preparation for Luhmühlen CCI4*, where the historically strong horse picked up 40 penalties before Wilson opted to retire on course. This weekend’s result will be crucial for their team selection chances — a top placing would make them a formidable option for Great Britain.

Alex Hua Tian and Don Geniro. Photo by William Carey.

Narrowly behind them is China’s Alex Hua Tian, who rides top horse Don Geniro. ‘The Don’ produced a 25.3 after a settled and accurate test, devoid of some of the tension that has earned him the joking moniker of ‘Psycho Don’ in the past. This is to be his second international of 2018 — his first, in Tattersalls CCI3* in May, ended with a retirement on cross country day, but he’s finished in the top 20 here before.

Secondary to the actual competition leaderboard is the high-speed tanning leaderboard. Team GB performance manager Dickie Waygood, right, is set for some seriously uneven arms. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

William Fox-Pitt and Fernhill Pimms sit comfortably in third place going into the jumping phases on a score of 26.4. The 14-year-old gelding, one of Fox-Pitt’s ‘classic’ string, has had an early season of mixed fortunes: he failed to complete Badminton earlier this year, but then went on to finish 4th in Chatsworth’s CIC3*. His Bramham was somewhat less successful — a missed flag dropped the pair right out of contention, and they finished 48th despite an otherwise impressive performance — but Fox-Pitt won this class last year aboard Clifton Signature, poignantly marking his return to form after his serious head injury in 2015, and a return to the top of the leaderboard would be a boon for his stalwart campaigner.

The #WearGreenForJonty campaign hits Barbury. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Our turbulent sport is often defined by its heady mix of ups, downs, and emotional comebacks, and as the action unfolds, Jonty Evans is never far from anyone’s mind. Though it might create a logistical nightmare for stewards and fence judges alike, it’s been a heartening sight to spot a sea of green in the crowd and across the course, as the community embraces the #WearGreenForJonty campaign. The campaign doesn’t just aim to show support as Evans recovers from a head injury sustained at Tattersalls, it’s also raising funds for the David Foster Injured Riders’ Fund, which offers funding and support after debilitating accidents. If you’re on site at Barbury, you can pick up a wristband, car sticker, polo top, or belt from Eventing Worldwide’s table by the main arena, or you can show your support online.

Are you ready for Leg 4 Barbury? Series Leader Laura Collett is! 💪🏻Tune in from 09.35am BST Saturday 8th July LIVE and for FREE on www.eventridermasters.tv 🙌🏻

Posted by Event Rider Masters on Friday, July 6, 2018

The weather isn’t the only thing heating up this weekend. Tomorrow brings us day one of the fourth leg of the Event Rider Masters series, with a suitably star-studded line-up competing for valuable points toward a spot on the final podium. Current series leader Laura Collett returns with Dacapo to defend her position, and last years’ winners Tom Carlile and Upsilon go head to head with Oliver Townend and Cilnabradden Evo. Each will be looking to add a third ERM win to their tally. Elsewhere in the line-up, stalwart superstars Happy Times, ridden by Sam GriffithsBay My Hero, ridden by William Fox-Pitt, and One Two Many, ridden by Nicola Wilson, prepare to challenge for a place atop the leaderboard. We’re excited to cheer on our two U.S. representatives, too — Liz Halliday-Sharp brings forward Fernhill by Night, while Tiana Coudray rides Under the Clocks, with whom she scooped seventh place in the CIC3* here last year.

The ERM dressage kicks off at 10.07am BST/5.07am EST, with all of the action livestreamed on the Event Rider Masters website as well as on their Facebook page. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved, too — make sure you download the SAP Judging and Stacks apps to play along, make predictions, and compete for fantastic prizes as the competition unfolds. Need any more mental preparation? Check out this whirlwind preview of all the excitement yet to come….

Beautiful Barbury ✨Where will you be watching?www.eventridermasters.tv

Posted by Event Rider Masters on Friday, July 6, 2018

We’ll be back with all the latest from the St James’ Place Barbury Horse Trials tomorrow — in the meantime, Go Eventing!

The top ten after dressage in Barbury’s CIC3*.

Barbury links: Website, Live Scores, ERM Live Stream, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Friday Video and UK Notes from World Equestrian Brands: The Cavalry On Tour

#WearGreenForJonty CALLING ALL EVENTING FAMILY PLEASE TAG AND SHARE Whilst we are all still taking in the news of @jontyeventing stable but non changing condition this week, we at Eventing Worlwide thought we would do something positive to show our support by asking all of our eventing family to please wear something green. Starting this Saturday 30th June and throughout July. Whether you are out competing XC or just out supporting the sport – put on something green and get into the Irish Spirit!! Headed up by our very own blogger Alice Dunsdon – Alice hopes that during the month of July, we all show our support for Jonty and go green on the course. “We all know the eventing community is such a close family group, and when anyone has a fall or an injury we all feel it, so when it happens to one of our Sports legends we must all get together and show our support for him and his family. Change your hat silk, change your base layer, put a green numnah or browband on, it doesnt matter what, just 'Wear Green for Jonty" Please also post up pictures so his family can feel the support with the hashtag #WearGreenForJonty

A post shared by Eventing Worldwide (@eventingworldwide) on

The plight of Irish eventer Jonty Evans is never far from anyone’s mind at the moment, and we all want to show our support in any way we can. That’s why we’re excited to join in with Eventing World Wide’s #WearGreenForJonty initiative. The idea is simple: swap your regular cross-country colours for something green while you’re out competing over the next month. Or, if you’re spectating, volunteering, or grooming, add a bit of the luck o’ the Irish into your wardrobe. We’d love to see your photos, and will have cameras at the ready at next weekend’s Barbury International to catch the movement in all its glory.

UK Weekend Preview:

Great Witchingham International [Ride Times]

Chepstow [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Aske [Ride Times] [Cross Country Videos]

Brightling Park International [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores] [Cross Country Videos]

Eland Lodge (2) [Website] [Ride Times]

Off church Bury [Ride Times]

Hopetoun [Ride Times]

Events Opening this Weekend:

30th: Skipton (2) – BE80-N – [EnterNorth Yorkshire (August 4-5) *

Events Balloting this Weekend:

29th: Warwick Hall (3) – BE80-N – [EnterCumbria (July 21-22)

29th: Aston-le-Walls (3) – N-A – [EnterNorthamptonshire (July 20-22) *

1st: Little Downham (2) – BE80-N – [EnterCambridgeshire (July 21-22) *

Friday Video: Cavalry Horses on Tour

There are a few classic harbingers of summer: crisp, slightly wonky tanlines, evening drinks awash in golden light, early eventing mornings, and, if you live in the east of England, the Household Cavalry’s annual sojourn to Norfolk’s Holkham Beach.

The Household Cavalry undertakes a seriously demanding day-to-day job: stationed in central London, they take part in regimental parades, guard duties, and ceremonial processions (yes, including the Royal Wedding). This means that they have to be able to cope with busy city traffic, sudden noises, crowded streets, and the attentions of interested tourists, as well as – in some cases – genuine threats to their safety. As such, it’s incredibly important that a high level of trust and communication is fostered between the horses – known as Cavalry Blacks – and their riders.

A month-long summer trip to coastal Norfolk is the making of these relationships. Each year, horses and riders descend upon Holkham Beach – one of the UK’s most popular beaches – to ride, play, and enjoy one another’s company, on the seashore and in the waves. The trip not only builds confidence for both horse and rider, it also provides a hugely beneficial way of improving fitness without the stress of roadwork. When the troops return to London, they do so happy, healthy, and ready to tackle any challenge. If it works for them, it must work for us mere mortals!

We know you'll love this video just as much as we did when we received it this afternoon!•Visitors to the museum have been loving seeing the horses and @household_cavalry on the beaches in Norfolk•Videos like this help us inform the public about where the Cavalry are when the hordes of tourists come and expect to see the red or blue tunics and shining breast plates on duty at Horse Guards!

Posted by The Household Cavalry Museum and Shop on Thursday, June 28, 2018

 

Friday Video and UK Notes from World Equestrian Brands: Danger Mouse Delivers

Alright, gang, hands up if you’re still bopping around in a delirious haze of #girlpower glee, after that serious lady takeover at Luhmuhlen last weekend? I took a break from horsey life the night before cross country (commonly known by muggles, apparently, as ‘Friday night’) to go see Beyonce and Jay-Z in concert in London, and you’d better believe I was thinking about sassy gals storming around four-stars during Who Run the World. I know that some might argue that the fixation on girlpower is a trite one, considering our sport is so fantastically progressive – as we all know, it’s only in the equestrian disciplines that Olympic athletes of any gender compete on equal terms, and women are every bit as successful as their male counterparts. But I, for one, won’t stop shouting from the rooftops about their successes – our gender equality sets an enormous precedent for the wider sporting world, and I want them to see just how tough, and talented, and capable women are. Who better to demonstrate that than fierce, feisty icons of the sport like Jonelle Price?

We’ve got another jam-packed weekend of eventing coming up in the UK, and this week, we’re excited to have teamed up with An Eventful Life, who travel around the country filming competitors’ entire cross-country rounds. We’ve included links for the competitions they’ll be at this week, so check back after your event to find your video! You’ll be able to spot forthcoming AEL events in the opening/balloting lists, too – these are marked with a cheeky little asterisk.

UK Weekend Preview:

Keysoe (2) [Website] [Ride Times] [Competitor Videos]

Skipton [Website] [Ride Times] [Competitor Videos]

Treborough Hill [Website] [Ride Times]

Farley Hall [Ride Times]

Alnwick Ford [Ride Times]

Events Opening This Weekend:

21st: Burgham – BE90-N, CIC1*, CIC2*, CIC3*, including 4/5yo classes – [EnterNorthumberland (July 27-29)

22nd: Frickley Park – BE80-CCI1* – [EnterSouth Yorkshire (July 27-29)

22nd: Chilham Castle (2) – BE80-N, CIC1*, including 4/5yo classes – [EnterKent (July 28-29)*

22nd: Calmsden – BE80-BE100 – [EnterGloucestershire (July 28-29)

23rd: Wilton – BE100-I – [EnterWiltshire (July 28-29)

23rd: Cholmondeley Castle – BE90-I – [EnterCheshire (July 28-29)*

Events Balloting This Weekend:

22nd: Stafford (2) – BE80-BE100, including 4/5yo classes – [EnterStaffordshire (July 13-15)

22nd: Forgandenny (2) – BE80-N – [EnterPerthshire, Scotland (July 14-15)

23rd: Northallerton (2) – BE80-BE105 – [Enter] North Yorkshire (July 14-15)

Flashback Friday Video: Team USA Shows Houghton Who’s Boss

Speaking of girlpower, we’re all still revelling in the amazing performances the Team USA girls put in at Houghton International last month to scoop second place in the Nations Cup, despite fielding just  a three person team. One of those rounds was delivered by the formidable Caroline Martin, who fairly flew around the testing track on Danger Mouse to help secure the podium position. Check out how they did it, courtesy of An Eventful Life:

Whether you’re in the saddle or on the sidelines this weekend, Go Eventing!

 

Friday Video and UK Notes from World Equestrian Brands: Eventers Take Bolesworth

Where has this year gone? It feels like just yesterday that we were moaning endlessly about the million-and-one event cancellations that effectively precluded any early-season runs, and now we find ourselves smack in the middle of the third four-star of the year, and what we Brits unanimously refer to as ‘Pimms weather.’ If you don’t know what that is — Americans, I’m looking at you — I suggest you find a specialist booze distributor and find out. Your life — and your approach to going eventing — will never be the same.

We’ve got an enormously busy weekend ahead of us here in the UK, with six events taking place around the country — fortunately, if there’s one thing eventers are great at, it’s multitasking, so the Luhmuehlen live stream will be getting a jolly good workout despite some pesky fences getting in the way.

UK Weekend Preview:

Nunney International [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Rackham [Ride Times]

Catton Park [Ride Times]

Stratford Hills [Ride Times]

Warwick Hall (2) [Website] [Ride Times]

Burgie [Ride Times]

Events Opening This Weekend:

15th: Aston-le-Walls (3) – N-A – [EnterNorthamptonshire (July 20-22)

15th: Launceston – BE80-BE100 – [Enter] Cornwall (July 22)

15th: Warwick Hall (3) – BE80-N – [EnterCumbria (July 21-22)

16th: Little Downham (2) – BE90-N – [EnterCambridgeshire (July 21-22)

Events Balloting This Weekend:

15th: Kirriemuir (2) – BE80-N, with 4/5yo classes – [EnterAngus, Scotland (July 8)

15th: Buckminster Park (2) – BE100-N, plus 5yo – [EnterLincolnshire (July 7-8)

16th: Tweseldown (3) – BE80-IN, with 4/5yo classes – [EnterHampshire (July 7-9)

Friday video: Eventers steal the limelight at Bolesworth

Luhmuehlen isn’t the only high-profile competition taking place this weekend — in the (contentious) north of England, the Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show is in full swing. Known for its top-notch showjumping and dressage, sideline extreme motor sports entertainment, and, um, ‘Club Boles’, the exceptionally cheeky on-site party, it’s one of the UK’s best, and most luxurious, horsey getaways. This year, they’ve invited the eventing fraternity along for the party too, with the Eventers Grand Prix relay challenge. Top eventers paired up with the best in the showjumping business to lay down some lightning fast rounds in and out of the international arena — check out how it played out!

We are live from The Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show with CMH.TV Great Britain!Watch the Cazenove Capital Eventing Grand Prix here or the rest of the show at https://bolesworthinternational.com/live-streamorwatch.clipmyhorse.tv/bolesworthTickets are still available on the gate!#BIHS2018 #Bolesworth #Dressage #Showjumping #Family #Cheshire #eventing

Posted by The Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show on Thursday, June 14, 2018

Pillar-to-Post Leads Scoop Bramham for Julia Krajewski and Emily King

Julia Krajewski and Chipmunk FRH leave nothing to chance. Photo by Tilly Berendt. Julia Krajewski and Chipmunk FRH leave nothing to chance. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Find yourself someone who looks at you the way Julia Krajewski looks at Chipmunk FRH. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Witnessing a flawless wire-to-wire victory always feels like a special privilege: a highly competitive dressage test, and impeccable communication across the jumping phases exemplifies what the upper echelons of our sport should be made off. With that said, we’ve even exceptionally lucky this weekend to enjoy two such victories, in both of the CCI3* sections at the Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials.

THIRD TIME’S A CHARM FOR JULIA KRAJEWSKI

Julia Krajewski and Chipmunk FRH enjoy their lap of honour. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“It’s a really long way for us to come to Bramham — we wouldn’t come just to ride,” smiles Julia Krajewski, who won the CCI3* at Bramham International Horse Trials today after two failed attempts to start the competition in years prior.

Her winning week began on Thursday, when she and ten-year-old Chipmunk FRH delivered an exceptionally good first phase score of 19.4 to take a significant lead going into the highly influential cross country. Here, they needed no margin for error, executing a swift and clear round with nary a hiccup over Ian Stark‘s bold, attacking course. This gave her a pole and a time penalty in hand going into the showjumping – and as the day went on, and the leaderboard changed dramatically under the ministrations of Di Boddy’s difficult course, it looked as though she would need it.

Julia Krajewski and Chipmunk FRH leave nothing to chance. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“When I was walking to the showjumping I thought, it would be really nice if he jumps clear – he doesn’t always,” she explains. “What I didn’t realise was that I actually had two rails in hand. I knew I had one, but I thought one and a time penalty wouldn’t be good either, so I had to try to go clear. Jumping has always been his question mark but he jumped very well today.”

Julia Krajewski and Chipmunk FRH clear the final fence. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Go clear she did, despite the fact that only 15 of the 47 starters managed to do so, with plenty clocking up over 20 faults over the coloured poles. It was France’s Karim Laghouag and Entebbe de Hus who had afforded her the buffer, pulling a rail to drop from second to fifth.

Julia was delighted to top the final leaderboard, leaving her dressage score immaculate and producing what may be the lowest finishing score Bramham’s history.

Julia Krajewski and Chipmunk FRH. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“Bramham is such a nice competition from start to finish,” she enthuses. “I like to go to England – it’s so friendly here – and so I try to pick one or two competitions over here each year.”

Julia’s win sees her in the enviable position of having two exceptionally well-proven horses in contention for WEG selection later this year – Chipmunk’s stablemate Samourai du Thot won Luhmuehlen CCI4* last year.

Andrew Nicholson and Swallow Springs finish second in a strong CCI3*. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Second place went to Andrew Nicholson, who climbed from fourth place with a faultless showjumping round aboard the talented grey Swallow Springs. His second ride of the day was mercifully uneventful, after his first round aboard Yacabo BK,  was disrupted by a loose dog chasing them along the course. His eight faults in the final treble were then rescinded by the ground jury, as the dog overtook horse and rider and broke their rhythm from the landing side.

Andrew was pleased with the ten-year-old Irish Sport Horse’s performance throughout the week, and will now aim him at Burghley for his four-star debut.

“He did a very nice dressage, and then on the cross country, he felt superb,” he says. “He had time faults, but that was my fault – he’s a very fast horse, and I was happy dobbing along and enjoying myself. He’s come a long way since last year, when I fell on cross country; he can jump well, and he felt much more grown-up and secure today than he has in the past.”

Bill Levett and Burghley-bound Lassban Diamond Lift. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Australia’s Bill Levett climbed from tenth after dressage to finish third in the competition aboard Lassban Diamond Lift, a horse whose talent he credits his wife, Jenny, for spotting early on.

“Jenny has been his biggest fan since he was a five-year-old – she always thought he was a big-time horse,” he says. “It’s great to produce them to this level from that age, because if you’re lucky, you get to feel them change with experience. This horse keeps getting better and better.”

Lassban Diamond Lift came to Bramham after a third place finish in the CIC3* at Tattersalls last week, and 15th in the CIC3* at Chatsworth earlier in May.

“He looked after me pretty well for running this weekend, as well – I was ten seconds up [on the clock on cross country] pretty early on, and then I just sat there, mostly. I had to slow him down in the end! Today was the most pleasing, though, because he can have an easy rail at a one-day event where he’s a bit keen. Today he was much more settled, and showed what he can do.”

Lassban Diamond Lift will also be aimed at Burghley this autumn, as, says Bill; “I’m not really thinking about the WEG.”

Kitty King and Vendredi Biats. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Kitty King finished best of the British aboard Vendredi Biats, while further down the lineup, Gemma Tattersall made an impressive climb aboard comeback queen Santiago Bay. They climbed from 38th place after dressage to finish in eighth after adding nothing throughout the jumping phases.

The final top ten in the Equi-Trek Bramham CCI3*.

EMILY KING LANDS NATIONAL UNDER-25 TITLE

Emily King gets cozy with the Bramham under-25 CCI3* trophy. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Bramham’s CCIu253* has long been considered a jumping-off point for successful careers at the senior level, with previous winners including Zara Tindall (nee Phillips), Tina CookWill ColemanPiggy FrenchTom McEwen and Astier Nicolas. Following the same track as the main CCI3*, it’s no easy feat to claim the win, and with it, the title of Under-25 National Champion. This year, our winner lead from pillar to post, never missing a beat in any of the three phases to finish on her dressage score of 25.5.

Emily King celebrates winning the under-25 title. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Emily King may have spent the early years of her career better known for being the daughter of eventing legend Mary King, but the last few seasons have seen her slowly build and develop her own brand and business, posting some impressive results along the way, including 4th place in her four-star debut at Pau about Brookleigh in 2015.

Emily King and Dargun slay their jumping demons for a foot-perfect victory at Bramham. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

This week, her victory came atop the striking chestnut 10-year-old Dargun, with whom she completed a season at the three-star level last year. Although the jumping-bred horse’s record at the three-star level is somewhat patchy – he has completed twelve of his sixteen starts, but has gone clear across the country in just three of those – he showed an impressive maturity in his work across all three phases.

“He felt amazing when I got on in the warm-up,” says Emily. “He was actually really fresh, and bucking and squealing, which is really good for his spring and attention if he’s a little bit jolly. It worked to his advantage. He’s a horse that, I think, if there’s a big atmosphere and crowd it helps him, rather than distracts him. The fences here are very spooky, which helps him to focus, too.”

I’m over the moon with him – he just jumped his heart out. I can’t describe what it means to win this class; it’s such an amazing feeling. I’ve been here since I was a kid with mum, helping her and watching her, and I’ve always dreamt of riding here myself. Three or four years ago I rode here for the first time, but this is the first time it’s gone to plan and come together, so that’s an amazing feeling.”

Time to start afresh: Emily’s win comes as she departs from mother Mary’s Devon base. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Emily’s win comes as she relocates her business from her family yard in Sidmouth, Devon, to boyfriend Sam Ecroyd‘s Chester base.

“For anyone to have a big win as a rider, it just boosts your confidence so much, and your belief in everything, so it’s fantastic. It really helped the horse, too, because he competed at Houghton and then went back to Sam’s rather than travelling all the way down to Devon, so he arrived here much fresher and much happier.”

Thibault Fournier and Siniani de Lathus finish second in their first CCI3*. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

France’s Thibault Fournier scooped second place aboard Siniani de Lathus, fitting the prestigious competition into a hectic period of university revision.

“I have an exam in two days, so I’m a bit busy,” he laughs. “It’s been a really good challenge for me to do both university and riding.”

“I think you should have stayed at home this week!” quipped third-placed Sam Ecroyd to the first-year Physiotherapy student, who fits his string of six horses in around this, his second degree. This is Thibault’s second attempt at this class with the twelve-year-old Selle Francais; in their first, last year, they were eliminated when Thibault fell across the country. Together, they also finished 15th at Boekelo’s CCI3* at the end of last season, but haven’t contested an international competition since.

France’s Thibault Fournier and Siniani de Lathus. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“He’s a really good jumper, but I don’t know him very well after a long cross-country. Sometimes they can be a bit tired, but he jumped very well for me today.”

Sam Ecroyd, for his part, was second on Cooley Currency and fifth on Master Douglas going into the final phase, but a clear round pushed his lower-placed horse into third place. The tension was palpable as the jumped the penultimate round aboard Cooley Currency, but two poles down at the very end of the course moved him down into sixth.

Sam Ecroyd and Master Douglas finish third. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“I was really happy with them both. Master Douglas has always been a fabulously talented jumper, and he’s always had a real rocky road of soundness and getting fit at the right time – he’s had one run prior to this, at which I fell off!”

“Great preparation,” injects Emily wryly.

“Yes – one-and-a-half runs in two years, so to come here and do this, well, he’s a really special horse,” says Sam. “With the Currency horse, I never would have thought we’d come here and go inside the time across the country, as he’s so green at this level still, and it was quite a push to get him to this. He jumped really well, I thought, and for a big horse like him to go in ten-and-a-half minutes yesterday, and then jump a course of twelve fences today, [knocking fences] can happen.”

Sam regards the 17.1hh gelding as one with enough talent to take him all the way.

“Once he gets a bit stronger he’ll be able to put it all together,” he says. “He’s a very, very talented jumper, but to be that tall and to have to do tight courses like that can be quite difficult. He’s got no problem with anything, he’s brave as a lion, and he’s a great jumper, but he’s a sensitive horse, so it’s just about putting all the pieces together. He’s got huge ability.”

Caroline Martin and The Apprentice. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The lone remaining US competitor, Caroline Martin, was the first to tackle the course aboard The Apprentice, but an early rail seemed to cause a domino effect in their round and they added 29 penalties to finish 16th. Danger Mouse lowered three rails and finished in 13th place. Caroline hopes to now aim both horses at Pau this October, alongside fellow Karen Stives Grant winner Hallie Coon.

Caroline Martin and Danger Mouse. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The showjumping proved influential, as designer Di Boddy‘s tracks tend to here at atmospheric, spooky Bramham. Only five of the sixteen starts produced fault-free rounds, and Emily King and Dargun were the only pair to finish on their dressage score.

The final top ten in the CCIu253* at Bramham.

CIC3* WIN COMES DOWN TO THE WIRE

Be Touchable and Izzy Taylor add another win to their record in Bramham’s CIC3*. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The field in the CIC3* competition was a tale of two halves: one of them full of inexperienced horses and riders at the level, and the other well-stocked with experienced upper-level contenders. It was the latter horses who came to the fore in the jumping phases of the competition, which saw a seriously influential showjumping track completely rearrange the leaderboard, with only 15 clear rounds out of 57 starters.

Ros Canter furthers No Excuse’s education. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Ros Canter and No Excuse, who had led after the dressage, toppled a rail to drop to third, and as predicted by Ros, couldn’t quite make the time across the country. His 8.4 time penalties provided a useful education, but not a top five finish – he was ultimately ninth on the overall leaderboard.

This opened the door for experienced, fast horses to fight for the win, and when Nicola Wilson withdrew Luhmuehlen-bound Bulana, sitting in first place after showjumping, the race was on.

Izzy Taylor and her Blenheim CIC3* winner Be Touchable were third from last to leave the start box, and though there were two riders ahead of her who could beat her, Izzy produced a trademark clear inside the time. Then, all she could do was wait.

As Ros’ round quietly accumulated its handful of time penalties, France’s Gwendolen Fer set out aboard her 2017 Pau winner, Romantic Love. They were the only pair who could beat Izzy – but their 0.4 time penalties, for coming in a second over the optimum time, put them on an equal score with her. The tiebreak went to the British rider, for her fault-free round.

“Be Touchable hasn’t been out since Blenheim, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from him mentally,” admits Izzy. “But he was very professional – he did a good enough test, probably a bit quieter than I would expect from him, and I maybe rode him a bit safely. It was annoying to have the first part of the treble down in the showjumping – though I was annoyed at myself for that – but he just felt class on cross country and never deviated from his line. It’s good to have him back – he’s a fragile horse, and very exuberant, so he takes a bit of looking after.”

Gwendolen plans to aim Romantic Love at Aachen next, formulating a plan for the rest of the season thereafter.

“My horse is super today. He jumped very well this morning and proved himself again cross country,” she says. “He’s quite fast normally and it’s the first time I’ve ever lost a win for a second over!”

Japan’s Toshiyuki Tanaka and Talma D Allou produce a classy FOD. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Japan’s Toshiyuki Tanaka and Talma D Allou produced the only FOD of the section to move up to third place from an initial fourteenth, while Ben Hobday, in fourth aboard his 2017 Le Lion d’Angers contender Shadow Man II, climbed up from 15th at the start of the competition. His other mount, Ciletto H, rounded out the top ten, having added just 4 time penalties to his dressage score of 35.3 to climb an impressive 28 places through the week.

Eleven of the 68 starters didn’t complete the cross-country, while 20 of the 57 finishers added jumping penalties. While the water complex once again exerted its influence, it was fence 11 – the coffin – which was most influential, claiming 10 competitors.

The top ten in the BETA CIC3*.

That’s it for us from this year’s Bramham International Horse Trials – it’s been a wild and woolly week up here in the north, and we hope you’ve enjoyed following along with our coverage (alongside that of the rather less wild and woolly Bromont). It might not have been quite the week we hoped for for our brilliant American representatives, but we’re so excited to see what both of these exceptionally talented ladies do next, and we were, as always, delighted to see how easy they can make difficult situations and tricky questions look. All of us at EN wish them both smooth sailing (and/or flying) as Hallie Coon and Celien make their way to Ireland to prepare for Millstreet and Pau, and as Caroline Martin heads home to the US with The Apprentice and Danger Mouse.

Until next time – see you on the other side (of the motorway), readers!

Bramham Links: Website, Start Times & Results, EN’s Coverage

American Horse Spun at Bramham Final Horse Inspection

CCI3* leaders Julia Krajewski and Chipmunk FRH pass the final horse inspection. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The final horse inspection on Sunday morning at a three-day always has a slightly different vibe than the initial one on Wednesday evening. The crowds are bigger, more hushed; the equine hijinks are – mostly – curtailed, and the riders and grooms have the pinched, puffy-eyed look of people who have ushered in the sun from an endless rotation of ice boots and hand-walking circuits. When the horses pass, the cheers are bigger, the relief almost palpable, and the sense of girding one’s loins for the next big hurdle momentous. When they’re held, so, too, is the collective breath of the crowd.

This morning’s CCI3* and CCIu253* trot-ups saw three holds in the senior section – Rebecca Nicholson‘s Uno IITheo van de Vendel‘s Zindane, and Kate Rocher-Smith‘s HHS Dassett Appeal. All three horses were passed upon reinspection.

William Fox-Pitt and Oratorio II at the final horse inspection. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

In the under-25 class, France’s Stephane Landois withdrew his Uh La Up De CrazyHallie Coon‘s Celien was held and subsequently spun, due to a minor abscess in the bulb of her hoof. Hallie assures us that the mare is completely sound and the team will regroup and reroute to France’s Pau at the end of the season. While no one likes to see their week end on Sunday morning, it’s all about the long game, and Hallie and her trademark good humour were to be spotted in the showjumping collecting ring later on in the morning supporting teammate Caroline Martin.

The day commences in earnest with the CCIU253* and CCI3* showjumping. Stay tuned, and Go Eventing!

Bramham Links: Website, Start Times & Results, EN’s Coverage, Livestream

Fortune Favours the Brave at Bramham: CCI3* Cross Country Report

Hallie Coon and Celien post a clear round in the under-25 CCI3*. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

When eventing phenom Ian Stark flexes his course-designing muscles, the eventing world sits up and takes notice, and never more so than at Bramham. Set in the heart of North Yorkshire, the Bramham Park estate boasts sweeping undulations, natural dips and mounds, and ample space for the sort of long, old-fashioned, galloping course that the event is known for.

But it’s not all running and jumping — to stand a chance of taking the top spot here, you’ve got to be prepared to tackle serious slopes and dips within combinations, to jump from light to dark and back again, and your stamina — and that of your horse — must be at its absolute peak.

At 10:24, and covering a distance of 5927m, today’s CCI3* and CCIu253* course certainly offered nothing for free.

KRAJEWSKI LEADS CCI3* CHARGE

Germany’s Julia Krajewski and Chipmunk FRH had given themselves a margin of nearly six points going into the cross country, with their dressage score of 19.4 moving them well ahead of their competition. But, as it turned out, they didn’t need to use any of that buffer, producing a fast, clear round inside the time to make the influential track look almost beneath their abilities.

“I really had the feeling that he was enjoying it to the last — his ears were pricked, and it was a very cool feeling,” says Julia of her impressive ten-year-old. “We were concerned that, perhaps, the ground would be too hard, but it really was perfect — the team did a great job.”

Karim Laghouag and Entebbe de Hus: proving a point to themselves and their team. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Hot on their heels was France’s Karim Laghouag, who, with Entebbe de Hus, sat third on a score of 26.3 after the first phase. They, too, went clear, finishing just one second over the optimum time to sit second on 26.3 heading into showjumping.

“Entebbe de Hus went really well today, but he started the season a bit under his normal ability,” says Karim. “I came with many things to prove — to the French selectors, the supporters, and to the rider, too! So it was nice that every stride went as I planned them to.”

William Fox-Pitt moved up to third place from sixth after producing a clear round inside the time with the young and exciting Oratorio II. The nine-year-old gelding is sired by William’s recently-retired top level mount Oslo, with whom he won Pau in 2011, and out of a point-to-point mare that he and wife Alice had previously trained, so, says William, “he’s a very sentimental horse.”

“He was offered to us as a three-year-old, and I thought, no — he’s far too young, I won’t still be going by the time he’s ready to compete! So we thought about it a bit, and advised the owners to send him to Laura Collett instead. She competed him up to CIC2*, but he was rather too big and rude. Then he came to me and grew three inches from the age of seven until nine. He’s not a girl’s ride — he’s not really my ride, for that matter, but we’re learning!”

William Fox-Pitt’s Oratorio shows his class in the CCI3*. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

That learning curve has resulted in some moments of miscommunication in the past, in which even 6’5 William has struggled to keep the horse straight and correct, but today, he felt that an enormous step was taken in the right direction.

“He was a good boy — he’s still quite a green horse, but his real asset is his class,” explains William. “He has endless stamina, and probably could have gone around that course twice today, and while he’s quite argumentative and strong ordinarily, today, he was great. It wasn’t a perfect round, nor the most pretty, but he was really up for it and taking me to the flags. He’s really a project for me; I hope he’ll go four-star once he learns to look for the flags.”

Swallow Springs and Andrew Nicholson climb one spot to fourth. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The Antipodean contingent ensured representation in the top ten, with Andrew Nicholson and Swallow Springs moving up one place from fifth to fourth after adding just 1.6 time penalties, and Australia’s Bill Levett posting a double-clear with Lassban Diamond Lift to climb five places to fifth.

Kitty King and Vendredi Biats tackle the final section of the course. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

2.4 time penalties was fast enough to allow Kitty King and Vendredi Biats to climb a spot to sixth place, while elsewhere, 6.4 time penalties plummeted France’s Matthieu Vanlandeghem and Trouble Fete ENE HN from second after dressage to eighth. Seventh, ninth, and tenth places were taken by riders whose fast clears allowed them to climb substantially — Gwendolen Fer and Traumprinz from 28th to 7th, Olivia Wilmot and Zebedee de Foja from 26th to 9th, and Richard Jones and Alfies Clover, rerouting from Badminton, from 29th to 10th.

EXAMINING THE INFLUENCE

The final water combination at 21ABCDE, the Womble Bond Dickinson Pond, proved the most influential question on course, with five faulters in this section. Late in the course, the combination was made up of a large rolltop, followed by a descent into the water, in which the competitors had to negotiate a curving line of two skinny arrowheads. Then, they had to canter up and out of the water, over a skinny swan, and left-handed through a 90-degree turn to a wide, galloping trakehner. When competitors stayed true to their line, and rode forward into their stride, it was made to look very easy — but when the line wavered, or the horse sucked back behind the leg, it became a much more difficult question.

It was responsible for perhaps the most impressive ‘nearly’ of the day, when Nicola Wilson and One Two Many, 11th after dressage, misjudged their stride over the first of the skinnies. Miraculously, both cleared the fence and remained upright, but Nicola, who ended up being One Two Many’s saddle, sensibly put her hand up and opted to retire after the hairy effort.

Olivia Wilmot and Zebedee de Foja provided one of the many gasp-inducing moments in the final water, but made it through to climb to the top ten. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

William Fox-Pitt, too, offered up a tense moment when Luxury FH dropped behind his leg and opted to trot and lurch his way through the combination. They ultimately retired two fences later: “the horse just tired, but fortunately he thinks he did very well! He’s had rather sketchy prep as most of his Advanced runs were cancelled this spring.”

As always, the demanding cross country course proved hugely influential but not insensible, with just over a quarter of the 66 starters retiring or facing elimination on course. A further six riders incurred jumping penalties but completed, and ten combinations added neither jumping nor time penalties to their dressage scores. The ground, and the questions asked, were widely praised by riders, who acknowledged the enormous amount of effort put in by the management team to continuously water and aerovate the swiftly baking footing.

The top ten going into the final phase of the Bramham CCI3*.

KING REIGNS SUPREME ON CROSS COUNTRY DAY

Emily King and Dargun add nothing to their dressage score to hold the CCIU253* lead going into the final phase. Photo by Pat Cunningham.

Dressage leaders Emily King and Dargun defied previous form and proved that their hard work had come good, laying down a fast clear to hold their position for another night in the under-25 CCI3*. They have just a time penalty in hand going into tomorrow’s showjumping.

“He was very good — he’s very careful normally, and today he was bold, straight, and galloped well from the start,” says Emily. “He got in a good rhythm right away, and the first combinations went very smoothly. I found him very easy to ride forward and turn, and so when we got a big jump in at the second water and I only just managed to get him back, it was down to being able to turn him.”

Emily experienced the first ever hold on course of her career while tackling the track, when the rider ahead of her fell at the final trakehner.

“I’ve never been held, so I was like, ‘oh, that’s what this is like!’,” she laughs. “It went on for four or five minutes, so both of us really had the chance to catch breath and start over again very fresh. We went on and did the final water and then I could feel confident that the very hard ones were behind us. I had been keeping a close eye on the time up until the hold, but after that I didn’t have it very sussed out so I just tried to get back into the rhythm I had before.”

Sam Ecroyd and Cooley Currency sit in second place going into showjumping. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Second place overnight is held by her boyfriend Sam Ecroyd and her former ride Cooley Currency, who added nothing to their dressage score of 28.1 to climb from 4th. He also sits fifth going into showjumping with his first ride, Master Douglas.

“I had two very good rides today,” he says. “I came here two years ago and thought that it was the nicest cross country course I’d ever ridden, so I knew it would suit my two. It’s bold, it’s attacking, and Ian Stark deserves huge praise for the way he build it — nowadays so many are like dog agility courses, so it’s nice to have one like this. It was brilliantly done.”

“I was lucky to be sat on two very brave horses who went really well. Cooley Currency is a very big, very scopey, very strong horse – of all Emily’s great qualities, her physical strength wouldn’t be one of them,” he laughs. “So I took over the ride, because I’m taller, and have longer legs and arms.”

Sam, too, was held on course, just before the final water.

“Unfortunately, the hold was too late on course to be much help — he just thought he was finished, as this is the longest course he’s ever done!”

Thibault Fournier and Siniani de Lathus round out the top three. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Slipping into third was France’s Thibault Fornier and Siniani de Lathus, who added just one second to the optimum time.

“I would like to thank the organisers for an amazing cross country,” he enthuses, echoing the sentiments of his fellow competitors. “I was so happy about my horse. He was very clean up to the end, and jumped very well at all the fences. It’s my first CCI3* with him — I don’t know him very well but the way he makes the cross country feel shows me that he can make a nice horse for bigger courses.”

Hallie Coon and Celien at the final water complex. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Hallie Coon and Celien posted a classy clear round, despite some stickiness at the final water, to add 14.4 time penalties to their dressage score. They sit 13th going into tomorrow’s showjumping on a score of 46.3.

Caroline Martin and The Apprentice over 21E. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The cross country proved similarly influential in this class, with nine of the 27 starters not completing the course. A further four picked up jumping penalties, with two of those occurring at the final water complex. Those went to Caroline Martin, who picked up 20 penalties on her first mount, Danger Mouse, after the horse veered left at the first skinny and wasn’t able to get back on the line to the second. On her second horse, The Apprentice, she was awarded 50 penalties for missing a flag on the same fence, despite evidence that suggested the contrary being presented by members of the media. She sits 16th (Danger Mouse) and 18th (The Apprentice) heading into the final phase.

Caroline Martin and Danger Mouse. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

We were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Chuffy Clarke‘s mount Second Supreme, who collapsed near the end of the course and died, apparently of natural causes. You can read the full statement, as well as enjoy a gallery of beautiful photos of the dynamic duo’s wonderful partnership, here. Our deepest condolences go to Chuffy and all of Ed’s team.

We’ll be coming at you bright and early tomorrow from the final horse inspection, as well as bringing you a report on the CIC3* competition’s thrilling finale, and all the action from both CCI3* section’s showjumping. Hold onto your hats, kids — it’s going to be exciting.

The top ten in the under-25 CCI3* after cross country.

Bramham Links: Website, Start Times & Results, EN’s Coverage, Livestream

Friday Video from World Equestrian Brands: Beefy, Bold Bramham

Caroline Martin and Pebbly Maximus at Bramham in 2017. Photo by Adam Fanthorpe.

Happy Friday, denizens of the eventing community! As I’m currently milling around somewhere in North Yorkshire, crying about oxers wide enough to live under, I’m afraid your Friday video this week is a lonely one, not held warm and tight by ballot and entry dates. They’ll be back with a bang next week!

Tiana Coudray and Under the Clocks. Photo by Adam Fanthorpe.

This week’s TGIF viewing takes a look back at 2015’s under-25 CCI3* here at Bramham, which Caroline Martin and Hallie Coon will be tackling with aplomb tomorrow. Get yourself psyched up and amply prepared for some breakfast livestreaming with this insight into the type of challenge they’ll be up against.

Heels down, eyes up, glass of wine held firmly aloft, amiright?

 

 

That’s a Wrap on the Flat: Your Bramham Dressage Roundup

End dressage, get snacks. Lather, rinse, repeat. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Another day packed to the rafters with dressage tests dawned on Bramham today, with yesterday’s high standards proving a worthy challenge to Friday’s competitors.

Nobody came close to catching CCI3* leaders Julia Krajewski and Chipmunk FRH, who maintain their nearly six-point margin going into tomorrow’s cross country phase. France’s Matthieu Vanlandeghem and Trouble Fete ENE HN remain their nearest competitors on a score of 25.2, closely followed by fellow Frenchman Karim Laghouag and Entebbe de Hus.

Despite the continental stronghold, British riders made promising moves on the top ten, with Pippa Funnell producing a quality test aboard Billy Walk On for a score of 26 and fourth place and holding eighth with MGH Grafton Street, while William Fox-Pitt and Oratorio sit in sixth place with a 26.7, just behind Kiwi Andrew Nicholson and Swallow Springs in fifth place.

Sometimes naughty, but always nice to look at: Vendredi Biats scores a top-ten spot. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Kitty King and Vendredi Biats worked through some moments of spookiness to score 27 and sit in seventh place: “I think I’m just going to have to work him near more cameras,” she laughed.

Julia Krajewski maintains her hold on the senior CCI3* section at Bramham.

KING TAKES THE THRONE IN CCIU253*

Focus. By the incredibly talented @williamcareyphotography .

A post shared by E M KĮNG (@emilykingofficial) on

In the under-25 CCI3* section, Caroline Martin and Danger Mouse‘s lead was narrowly usurped by Britain’s Emily King, who rode her stalwart chestnut Dargun to a score of 25.5. Owned by Jane del Missier, ‘Dre’, as he’s known at home, has been produced from the 2* level by Emily. The pair have completed seven three-stars together, with their highest placing coming at Belton CIC3* in April, where they finished 18th. Dre’s score today is a personal best at the level for the horse, and the culmination of three seasons spent training the naturally relaxed horse to engage and perform at his best. The ten-year-old gelding is still relatively green at the level, with just two fault-free cross country rounds in his seven completions, but Emily, who finished fourth in her CCI4* debut with Brookleigh in 2015 with Brookleigh, is looking forward to tackling tomorrow’s cross-country course, wherein we may well see the ongoing education of Dre pay off further.

As it turns out, Dr Dre holds a commanding place in the inspirational GIF market.

Caroline Martin holds onto second place with Danger Mouse (26), while her second mount, The Apprentice, posted a 28.2 to slot into fifth place. This sits them within a tightly-packed selection of scores in the top ten – just one second on tomorrow’s cross country separates fourth and seventh place, promising a tremendous reshuffle on a course which will demand exceptional stamina from both horse and rider.

Caroline Martin and The Apprentice round out the top five. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“Overall, the horse really performed, and he really handled the atmosphere – he was in front of my leg and he listened every step of the way,” says Caroline. “I was a little disappointed with the trot work; I felt that he got a little bit stuck. When I went to do my medium trot he was a bit spooky, so I figured I’d hold onto him a bit and get through the test, and then he relaxed.”

Caroline took over the ride on The Apprentice from Buck Davidson at the beginning of last season, and her test in this class last year earned the pair a 32.6 in only their fifth international together.

“The test today was way better, because last year I really didn’t know the horse, and it was our first time in a really big atmosphere. I’ve been getting to know him better, and I’m putting my buttons on him now. Buck and I are very different riders and I think that last year, Dirk got confused, which is why we ended up having our only run-out – I didn’t realise then how strong he can get.”

Caroline Martin adds another horse to the top five with The Apprentice. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“I felt that the course really suited him last year, but actually, the reason that I brought him here was because I broke my foot and so didn’t run him at Kentucky. He’s the sort of horse who needs you to be 110% on your game, and so Leslie Law and I decided to reroute him here. It works really well in the schedule for me, and it’s really a good three-and-a-half star.”

Despite having prior experience with The Apprentice here, Caroline is happy with the drawn order, which makes her the under-25 pathfinder with Danger Mouse.

“When people say it’s important to produce your horses to the upper levels, it really is true – I know Danger Mouse so well. I feel honoured riding The Apprentice, but producing them from scratch helps a lot.”

Sam Ecroyd moves into fourth place aboard Cooley Currency, formerly piloted by his girlfriend, Emily King. Photo by Charles Cunningham.

Caroline and Hallie will go cross-country tomorrow at the following times:

Caroline Martin and Danger Mouse: 12.38pm BST/7.38am EST

Hallie Coon and Celien: 12.59pm BST/7.59am EST

Caroline Martin and The Apprentice: 1.56pm BST/8.56am EST

The top ten at the conclusion of dressage in the under-25 CCI3* section at Bramham.

TOP TRIO MAINTAIN CIC3* HOLD

The British contingent hold a strong majority in the CIC3*, with the top three unchanged today. The relatively inexperienced No Excuse (24.4) remains atop the leaderboard with Ros Canter, although, Ros explains, “realistically, the time might be a bit too tight for him on the cross-country this year – but he’s an exciting horse for the future.”

Ros Canter and No Excuse top the CIC3* after dressage. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The infamously swift Izzy Taylor holds second place on 24.5 aboard last year’s Blenheim ERM CIC3* winner Be Touchable, who was produced through to the Intermediate level by his owner, Sophie Dodds, before her university studies prompted a change of rider in 2015. The twelve-year-old Dutch-bred gelding has demonstrated an incredibly consistent streak, finishing first or second in each of his five international runs – each at the CIC3* level – since mid-2016. Unlike No Excuse, Be Touchable is quantifiably experienced at this level, with three years of mileage, with three FODs and an average of only 2.4 time penalties from five three-star completions.

Nicola Wilson and Bulana. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Local favourite Nicola Wilson and her European bronze medallist Bulana remain in third place on 25 going forward into tomorrow’s competition. Now twelve, the striking mare missed out on the win in her CCI4* debut at Luhmuehlen last year by just over half a penalty point, before finishing best of the British, and part of the gold medal-winning team at Strzegom later in the season. Bramham will serve as the final prep for another attempt at the Luhmuehlen title later this month.

Fellow Brit Selina Milnes and Iron IV slipped into fourth place with a score of 25.6, edging yesterday’s early leaders William Fox-Pitt and Fernhill Pimms into fifth (26.9).

Far from being an afterthought to the CCI3*, the CIC3* is well-stocked with top names and top horses, including four-star winners and longtime contenders. Fernhill Pimms, rerouting from Badminton, is one such horse, and further down in the top ten, the French contingent bring forward 2017 Pau winners Gwendolen Fer and Romantic Love (7th) and Thibaut Vallette and Qing du Briot ENE HN (9th). The section will move forward to showjumping tomorrow, before tackling Ian Stark‘s testing track on Sunday.

The top ten after dressage in Bramham’s CIC3* section.

Bramham is roundly named the toughest three-star in the world, with its unforgiving undulations and difficult questions testing competitors from the beginning through to the very end of the long course. To take a closer look at the CCI3* track, check out the preview here. Now, imagine coming across them on the steep inclines and declines of the Yorkshire hills and dales, with maximum dimensions as far as the eye can see, and course designer Ian Stark‘s devilishly clever eye for light-to-dark-to-light-again questions, and you’ll be getting close to seeing what life is like at Bramham. It’s not playtime here, kids – Bramham really does mean business, and the 5927m, 10:24 minute CCI3* course will test every skill our riders and horses have. You can follow along at home, too – BETV will be livestreaming the entirety of tomorrow’s cross-country action.

We’ll be bringing you a full report from all three sections tomorrow, but in the meantime, we’ll be dusting off our hiking boots and planning a trek to the top of the highest hill, EN flag held aloft. See you on the other side, intrepid explorers.

#hills4dayz

Bramham Links: Website, Start Times & Results, EN’s Coverage, Livestream

Ladies Top Bramham Scoreboards; Caroline Martin Leads U25s

Danger Mouse receives a post-test debrief from Rodney Powell. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

It’s Ladies’ Day again at the EquiTrek Bramham International Horse Trials, with the fairer sex leading all three sections. Don’t worry, we’re happy to wait for a moment while you press play on this:

JULIA KRAJEWSKI TAKES NO PRISONERS

Julia Krajewski and Chipmunk FRH take a decisive lead in the CCI3*. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The CCI3* class was led throughout the morning by Pippa Funnell and MGH Grafton Street, who posted a 27.9 early in the day. But all eyes were on Germany’s Julia Krajewski, winner of last year’s Luhmuehlen CCI4*, as she took to the arena with Chipmunk FRH.

As predicted, they took the lead – on an incredible 19.4. Even more incredible is that this isn’t the horse’s career personal best – that was posted at Kreuth’s CIC2* in 2016, where he scored an 18.5 – nor is it the venue record, set by Izzy Taylor and Orlando in 2014. What it is is an exceptionally good score for an exceptionally correct test, which affords the pair a margin of 5.8 penalties over second-placed Matthieu Vanlandeghem at the halfway point.

“It’s very special to get everything right on an occasion like this,” says Julia. “This is my third try at Bramham; the first time, my horse wasn’t quite right before we left, and the second time, I made it to the dressage, but the horse slipped in the medium canter and knocked himself.”

Ten-year-old Chipmunk is something of an up-and-comer when compared to Julia’s stable star, Samourai du Thot, but his results speak for themselves: he hasn’t finished outside of the top ten in his last fourteen international competitions, and he won the CIC3* at Marbach last month in preparation for this competition.

Julia Krajewski and Chipmunk FRH. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“Competing at Bramham is something I’ve wanted to do for a years,” says Julia. “I thought about taking him to Luhmuehlen for his first four-star, but decided to come here instead. Chipmunk is quite a tall horse, with long legs, and it’s taken him a long time to grow into his body, but he gave me such a good feeling through the test today. He doesn’t have many weaknesses; he’s maybe not the biggest mover, but he’s very correct and pretty and the judges liked him.”

A special treat for a seriously special horse. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Julia, who works as the German junior and young rider coach, always strives to build upon and improve her performances, even when she finds herself in the lead: “Normally I call home and complain that things could have been better, but today I had no complaints. Although my boyfriend didn’t believe me when I told him my score,” she laughs.

After two aborted attempts, Julia admits that finding herself in this position on Sunday afternoon would mean an enormous amount to her, “but it’s only the first day,” she says, pragmatic as always.

The CCI3* top ten after the first day of dressage.

A YEAR OF PREP PROPELS CAROLINE MARTIN

Caroline Martin and Danger Mouse produce the best test of their career at the pivotal moment. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“I’ve been preparing this horse for this class since I came here last year – it’s always been my goal,” says an elated Caroline Martin, who leads the under-25 CCI3* aboard her first ride, Danger Mouse, on a score of 26. Her test was the first in the section, setting an early high standard that her competitors would have to try to catch throughout the day. Though Katie Bleloch and Bulano came close, with their mark of 26.9, Caroline was to be untouchable by the halfway point.

Caroline Martin and Danger Mouse. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“Everything we’ve been working on, he’s totally taken in,” says Caroline. “He wasn’t stressed by the atmosphere, which is the first really big atmosphere he’s been in. He was so good, and he’s a real class horse. At Houghton, it was quite a lot for him, because he’d run Jersey Fresh and then had to get off the plane and get going, so [US under-25 coach] Leslie Law and I have worked really hard to get him ready for this.”

Pure joy: Caroline Martin and Danger Mouse. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Their preparation for the test included plenty of stretching work, and ensuring a relaxed atmosphere for the horse to flourish in: “it was all about getting his mind right, because he’s got all the movement, so it’s about keeping him happy.”

Caroline and Danger Mouse’s score of 26 represents an impressive personal best of three marks across all levels, and the ten-year-old gelding still has plenty more to offer, Caroline tells us.

“There’s way more there – I feel like we could shave off another six points. He’s a very exciting young horse for me.”

The dream team: Leslie Law and Charlie Milligan meet Caroline at the in-gate after her leading test. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Caroline credits the inimitable and indispensable coaching of Leslie, as well as the help of groom Charlie Milligan, who stepped in at the last minute to help her this weekend, with getting her and Danger Mouse off to a flying start in this week’s competition.

Hallie Coon and Celien. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Hallie Coon and Celien posted a score of 31.9 to sit in equal ninth place overnight with France’s Stephane Landois and Uh La Up De Crazy. Despite losing a couple of marks for small errors in the first halt and flying change, they produced a flowing, elegant test – and one that Hallie assures us is ‘miles better’ than her test at Houghton Hall two weeks ago.

“There’s no comparison between them at all, really,” she says. “I was able to really ride her today, when she still gets a bit unrideable sometimes. We missed the first change, which actually used to be her easy one – somewhere along the way, she’s swapped them around! But I’m really happy with the quality of her work – it’s all coming together.”

Hallie Coon and Celien sit in the top ten after the first day of dressage in Bramham’s under-25 CCI3*. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The quality is undeniable, particularly in Celien’s trot work, which sees her nearly float across the ground. This, says Hallie, is entirely at odds with the five-year-old she initially bought out of a jumping yard: “she had no trot at all – there was a walk, a canter, the changes were there, but she just couldn’t trot,” she laughs.

Both riders are based with Rodney Powell in Wiltshire for the duration of their tenure here, which has been funded by the Karen Stives Eventing Endowment Fund Grant. The grant, bequeathed by the late Mrs Stives, affords talented up-and-coming US riders a fund of $25,000 to compete and train in Europe, furthering the depth and breadth of their experience and bolstering the success of the US team in the longer term.

Hallie Coon and Celien – a first trip abroad, courtesy of Karen Stives. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“I wouldn’t be able to do anything like this without the help and support of the grant – I’m so grateful to be able to come here and have these opportunities,” says Caroline, who, having received the funding for three consecutive years, is a clear example of the quantifiable positive effect that it has on its recipients’ performances.

The second half of the under-25 section will perform their dressage tests tomorrow afternoon, with Caroline riding her second horse, The Apprentice, at 5.10pm BST/12.10pm EST. Caroline and The Apprentice were eighth here last year, and produced a personal best of 28 in the dressage at Houghton Hall two weeks ago.

The under-25 CCI3* top ten at the half-way point.

ROS CANTERS INTO CIC3* LEAD

Ros Canter and No Excuse top the CIC3* after the first day of dressage. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Britain’s Ros Canter, the newly-minted World #3, claimed the top spot in the CIC3* aboard the relatively inexperienced No Excuse. Ros has produced the nine-year-old Nekton gelding through the grades, having bought him as a rising five-year-old and contesting the age classes. Now, Michele Saul owns the horse, who finished ninth in his first full CIC3* at Chatsworth last month.

“I still think of him as a young horse, but he’s nine now,” says Ros. “He’s taken a long time to mature because he’s a big horse, but in the last six weeks, he’s suddenly learned how to carry himself. I think, in that way, he’s going to be very like [Europeans mount] Allstar B, who’s really just hitting his peak now, at the age of twelve.”

The pair scored a 24.4, putting them a tenth of a point ahead of second-placed Izzy Taylor and her 2017 Blenheim CIC3* winner Be Touchable.

Izzy Taylor and ERM winner Be Touchable squeeze into second place. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“It’s so exciting to know that he can go and produce a 24.4, when I can still feel that there’s another 40% of his ability left to come,” Ros tells us. This final 40%, she says, will come when the 17hh gelding matures further and overcomes what she terms a bout of ‘mental tiredness’.

“He can still get tired and feel like a young, green horse at times – he’s laid-back but he has a spooky side, too. He’s so laid-back that sometimes he really could use just a bit of a chivvy up – but then sometimes that really does work in our favour, too,” says Ros. The ability to switch on and off from the job is a useful one when tackling the big atmosphere at competitions like this, but it comes in handy during the odd moments when things go wrong, too – as Ros discovered when No Excuse’s bridle came off as she finished her test. His response? To put his head down and sample the Bramham grass, of course. #priorities.

The top ten in Bramham’s CIC3* after the first day of dressage.

We’ll be back tomorrow with the latter half of the dressage in all three sections, as well as a look ahead at the testing cross-country course to be tackled at the weekend. Until then – go eventing!

Bramham Links: Website, Start Times & Results, EN’s Coverage

Bramham CCI3* Trot-Up: All Pass, Three American Horses to Start

Hallie Coon’s Celien is walked in front of Bramham’s colossal centrepiece. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

This week, EN’s whistlestop tour of the other side of the pond takes us to the beautiful Bramham Park, tucked beside the historic city of York in the north of England. The Equitrek Bramham International Horse Trials hosts three classes – a CCI3*, an under-25 CCI3*, and a CIC3*, and always boasts a full roster of top names, each on the hunt for victory at this prestigious event. This week is no different – despite following on the heels of Tattersalls, and preceding the CCI4* at Luhmuehlen, we’re graced with likes of William Fox-PittAndrew NicholsonGemma TattersallJulia Krajewski, and – well, as usual, the list goes on and on. With its Ian Stark-designed course and its big, bold, celebratory feel, we’re in for an incredibly exciting week.

2017 Luhmuehlen winner Julia Krajewski trots up Chipmunk FRH. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Even more exciting? We’ve got two of our second-placed Houghton Nations Cup team on the grounds, both contesting the Under-25 CCI3*. A win in this class has historically been a harbinger of huge careers to come, and Caroline Martin, riding Danger Mouse and The Apprentice, as well as Hallie Coon, riding Celien, will be chasing the title this week. Caroline finished 5th in the class last year, riding Pebbly Maximus, and 8th aboard The Apprentice. This year, she hopes to go even better.

Caroline Martin presents The Apprentice. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

This afternoon saw the competition commence, with the first horse inspection for both CCI sections. All horses presented passed, despite several being sent to the hold box – including Hallie’s Celien. Is there anything more stressful than a long wait for a re-presentation? No. No, there is not. (Although we might argue that watching poor Caroline Martin – who suffered a serious lameness of her own earlier this season – trot up is nearly equal.)

Hallie Coon and Celien will contest the CCIU253* at England’s Equitrek Bramham International Horse Trials. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Dressage for both CCI3* sections and the CIC3* commences tomorrow morning, with both Caroline and Hallie riding in the afternoon. Their times will be as follows:

Caroline Martin and Danger Mouse: 3.10pm BST/10.10am EST

Hallie Coon and Celien: 4:06pm BST/11.06am EST

Caroline Martin and Danger Mouse. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Livestreaming for the event will be available through BETV on Saturday only – we’ll share the link once it’s been finalised. As always, keep it locked onto EN for all the latest updates, news, views, and interviews with all the riders you need to know.

Go Caroline and Hallie, and Go Eventing!

Bramham Links: Website, Start Times & Results, EN’s Coverage

Friday Video and UK Notes from World Equestrian Brands: The Concept of Contact

The UK is a quiet place to be this weekend. Everyone has hopped aboard the party boat to Tattersalls, leaving nothing behind but a couple of tumbleweeds and a few crates of empty prosecco bottles. Those of us left behind wait at the windows like army wives, desperate for signs of life on the horizon.

JOKES. The Tatts FOMO might be a real affliction, with symptoms to include obsessive live streaming, score refreshing, and social media prowling-and-scowling, but there’s still plenty for eventing junkies to sink their teeth into on this side of the sea, with four events underway, including the National Pony Championships at Brand Hall. (Hi, my name is Tilly, and I am an almost-reformed pony addict. My struggle has been long and arduous, but I am grateful to be able to share my recovery with you.)

We’ve also got plenty of opportunities for alcohol-fuelled entry sprees, including the seriously exciting new Osborne Horse Trials, set to take place at the end of July in the grounds of Queen Victoria’s stately Isle of Wight former residence. Designed to create a spectator-friendly competition, Osborne will hold four classes, each at the Intermediate level, and each offering different eligibility requirements, so inexperienced horses or riders at the level will compete against their equals. With a shortened dressage test, choose-your-own-adventure showjumping, and a one-seat-sees-all cross country course, it promises to be a great weekend whether you’re on a horse or on the terrace. Oh, and there’s also a cheeky little prize pool of £60,000 on offer. NBD.

UK Weekend Preview:

Little Downham [Website] [Ride Times]

Belsay [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Ascott Under Wychwood (2) [Ride Times]

Brand Hall [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Events Opening This Weekend:

1st: Buckminster Park – BE100-N, plus 5yo – [EnterLincolnshire (July 7-8)

1st: Osborne House – OI showcase – [EnterIsle of Wight (July 25-26)

1st: Kirriemuir (2) – BE80-N, with 4/5yo classes – [EnterAngus, Scotland (July 8)

2nd: Tweseldown (3) – BE80-IN, with 4/5yo classes – [EnterHampshire (July 7-9)

Events Balloting This Weekend:

1st: Alnwick Ford – BE80-IN – [EnterNorthumberland (June 23-24)

2nd: Keysoe (2) – BE80-N – [EnterBedfordshire (June 23-24)

2nd: Skipton – BE80-N – [EnterNorth Yorkshire (June 23-24)

Friday video: the concept of contact

Want a little bit of education with your Friday feelings? Lainey Ashker is delivering this week, with a short but sweet video explaining how the way you hold your hands might be affecting the quality of your horse’s contact. We love a simple fix we can incorporate into our schooling sessions, and that’s just what this is – a positional adjustment requiring no massive overhauls of your training ethos, no risk, no fuss, and best of all, no tack changes or gadgetry required. Give it a go this weekend, and let us know how you get on!

#LÆ training tip: Narrow Hands ➡️ the concept behind the contact

Posted by Lainey Ashker on Friday, June 1, 2018

Want to make some more small, easy changes that could have huge positive effects at the barn this weekend? Check out World Equestrian Brandseducation section on their website, which explains the science behind many of their products. Having a spring clean and replacing moth-eaten, mud-mangled bits of kit? This could help you find the product that works for you and your horse.

Go eventing!