Monday, 17 March 2014

Aldon - Somerset The Sunshine State

Aldon Horse Trials  - Set In A Picturesque 'Park Bowl'
This past week has seen the longest spell of good weather we have had this year, and drying ground proved perfect at Aldon in Somerset, which I'm told often suffers from inclement conditions. With the cancellation of Tweseldown, (my usual seasonal opener to watch those aiming for the spring 4 stars), I decided to head down to Somerset for the first time.

A Truly International Field
I had never been to Aldon before, as I'd always envisioned it to be too far west, or awkward to get to. I was pleasantly surprised to discover it was a little over an hour away down the dreaded A303, that was thankfully clear of traffic early on Sunday morning. The A303 winds it's way through some of the most stunning, rolling countryside England has to offer, passing the World Heritage site of Stonehenge, and the racecourse towns of Salisbury & Wincanton, and so on a bright Sunday morning you have time to take in the scenery and play 'I spy the Norman church spires' that are dotted along the route.
Dani Evans Warms Up For the Advanced Intermediate Dressage - On A Rugby Pitch!
Aldon Horse Trials itself is a cross between Gatcombe with it's 'park bowl' and Barbury where spectators can watch most of the action from a single vantage point as the track winds it's way back and forth across the main valley bowl that plays host to the cross country course. Added to this is the quirk of running the dressage across the lane at the Rugby Club - very apt given the conclusion of the 6 Nations.