Tuesday, 18 September 2012

HorseHub | The App We've All Been Waiting For Is Finally Here!

The HorseHub App is finally here, available to download via iTunes for your iPhone & iPad (iOS v5.1+ required). After months of blood, sweat & fine tuning the most useful app for horse owners everywhere is finally here! Before I give you the run down and review it, let me first state that I have a vested interest in this app, as it's a joint venture between myself and Paul Tapner, so I am a little biased in my opinion of the app. 

HorseHub | Your Equestrian iTunes
What does the app do?
In a way you can think of HorseHub as your equestrian iTunes. 

It's a free app, and quite simply the app gives you access to a range of content (video, audio & text - currently) from a variety of sources (Authors) that you will find useful and/or entertaining in your equestrian life. The most obvious example of content is training material. Content is delivered in bite size chunks, for instance, Paul has himself created a "Training With Taperz" series, which rather than being a 3 hour DVD, is broken down into smaller video pieces that allow you to pick and choose the pieces you are particularly interested in. This means if you need help with riding ditch fences, you don't need to sit through hours of dressage training as well, you just bite off what you need, and pay for what you want. Bite size chunks means bite size prices too, and probably less than you'd pay for a cup of coffee. You'll also find plenty of free downloads too. 

Monday, 17 September 2012

Little Gatcombe 2012 | Success & Luck Can Change In A Second

Lucy Jackson | Leading The CIC** After The ShowJumping Only To Lose The Lead By 1 sec. On Cross Country
Princess Anne (who I nearly bumped into literally today!) , hosts one of my favourite horse trials, The Whatley Manor Horse Trials, at her home in Gloucestershire, which is affectionately known as 'Little Gatcombe'. Held in both April & September the events run Novice & Intermediate classes and in September these include a CIC* & CIC**.  These courses use less demanding terrain than the main Gatcombe festival event held in early August, but still make use of some steep hills, woodland, and established pasture. They also have some great hedges to jump!

Lucy Jackson & Wellshead Munnings | Chasing Time On The XC
With a beautifully ridden & scopey clear show jumping round, Lucy Jackson was poised to maintain her lead going into the cross country in the CIC**, but one second over the optimum time left the door open for Kitty King to steal the lead by the narrowest of margins (0.1pt) if she went inside the time, which she did - one second inside the time to win the class on her lovely little horse, Persimmon.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Blenheim 2012 | Spectacular Sunshine & Competition Once More

Fidelity Blenheim Horse Trials | Cross Country Day
This year's Fidelity Blenheim International Horse Trials, was as good as any I've been too over the last 10 years - the weather was the best we've seen at a horse trials in the UK all year, and bumper entries for both the CIC & CCI classes, including a few new international faces we've not seen on these shores, provided all the thrills & spills you could want from a three star competition. Sadly I only managed to attend on Saturday for the CCI cross country.

Paul Tapner | Classic XC Position
Australian man in form, Chris Burton, had led the dressage on the Hanoverian, UnderDiscussion, that he brought with him from Australia, and won Aachen with in the run up to the Olympics. When I saw him about half way round the cross country at the big drop fence they were travelling well, but uncharacteristically for both horse and rider they picked up 20 penalties further on the course, ruling out any chance of holding their lead. Still, with only 8 time penalties, a good dressage score, and a clear show jumping round they managed to stay in the top 20 - pretty unusual in a competitive 3 star.

His countryman, and good friend, Paul Tapner, had a mixed weekend with his two horses. Setting out on his first horse, the stallion Wickstead Didgeridoo, Paul had a sticky moment at the huge ditch early on course, and had an unfortunate fall at the big drop half way round. He followed this up with a masterclass of competitive cross country in his second round on Kilronan, finishing the weekend off with a clear showjumping round to end up 5th. I've loved this little grey horse every since seeing them at Gatcombe CIC** & Pau CIC** last year. He possibly heads to Badminton next year now.