|NZB Land Vision | London 2012 Bound|
Highclere is one of those great tracks when you can be guaranteed a good testing run without blowing the brain of your horse. In the five or so years I've competed here I've never seen an overly technical track, just good galloping, big-ish fences, and a real fitness tester. Rain earlier in the week meant good ground, which considering it's all short downward slopes and long hill climbs is a godsend as when it does get soft here the ground becomes spongy and saps energy. I love it, and it always rides better than it walks.
The place was awash with national team selectors, which produced a real buzz, especially around the Advanced dressage, tucked away in a corner of the park with plenty of flat ground to practice on. It was so busy up there you had to watch where you walked for fear of being mown down by a WEG hopeful, one lady on crutches nearly lost her 'good' leg as she tried to pass in front of NZB Land Vision.
|Here's A Little Magic | Not like that, like this!|
|Dan Jocelyn | No Boots|
|Come On, Own Up - Who Called 911?|
|Sharon Hunt | Signature Please!|
The showjumping arena party earned their lunch with rails failing for most of the riders in the advanced, but two lucky volunteers were rewarded with autographs from Sharon Hunt as she scribbled aboard an impatient KENNY. The horse that wowed me most in the show jumping was NZB Land Vision, this horse isn't much to look at, but boy can he jump and move. He won his section on a dressage score of 27.7 adding just a few more points for xc time, and this is Mark's favoured horse for the London Olympics (see my chat with Mark, below). Badminton winner, Paul Tapner, was pretty impressive in the ring too on his Advanced rides.
|Clayton Fredericks | Advanced Class|
New Zealanders won all three Advanced Classes, and let's just say I think all of the teams were already choosen before Highclere. If Mark Todd, Paul Tapner, Sam Griffiths, Joe Meyer, and Andrew Nicholson's Nereo aren't on teams, I'll be surprised!
Highclere Horse Trials Results
Mark Todd Interview
Photos From Highclere Horse Trials
Here's my video round-up: