Two Brits On an Epic Quest to Demystify the Trot-Up

“So, that’s a horse.”

“This is a horse, yes. Distinctive features: ears, eyes, nose, four legs – well, it’s ideal if there are four.”

Some parts of eventing from the outside looking in might be a bit mistifying; why is there white stuff on their legs? Why are you running at that solid object so fast? Is that… a giant airbag on your body? But among the more traditional “pomp and circumstance” elements which might confuse the average viewer is the trot-up. Women in heels and dresses, men in everything from checkered dress shirts to tuxedos. Ours is a weird world, and we’re not giving it up anytime soon.

James Ecroyd, regular person, attempts to understand and master this event on behalf of the clamoring masses with the help of his brother, upper level eventer (and “ginger brother”) Sam Ecroyd. A self-deprecating schtick ensues which is certain to delight both the layman and avid eventing fan alike.

Fashion is briefly discussed:

“You want to try and stand out. Stand out by your horse looking good, stand out by you looking good.”

“Do you struggle with that one, is it the hardest bit for you?”

“I’ve tried dying my hair, I’ve tried special clothes, I’ve tried everything.”

“So what sort of things would you wear?”

“For the man it’s standard to wear a suit, and the woman it would be, well, I don’t know, I can’t say I often dress up as a woman.”


“What do you think, is this bright enough for you?”

“We’re… a bit bright.”

“A bit bright?”

“Also, I’m pretty sure that’s mum’s from the 1960s. I mean, the tapered waist…”

Then they get to actually practicing the trot-up, but because horses are expensive and brothers are free, there’s some pseudo human trotting to a nice Irish jig, followed by some dog trotting, which, again, is pretty quality.


“Going into the trot up you need to get them a little bit excited, a little bit ready … you less so, more… just the horse.”

“Oh, okay.”


Ideally, this very educational video would never have to end. Thank heavens for endless replays on YouTube!

You can learn more about the devilishly charming Same Ecroyd and his eventing yard on his Facebook Page. And if there are more updates to this utterly magical video series, you can be sure we’ll share them here.

Go Eventing!