Monday, 15 September 2014

Blenheim 2014: Francis Whittington's Big Day Out - All The Pretty White Horses

Francis Whittington Rides Easy Target To A Career Highlight Winning Blenheim CCI***
There wasn't really much room for error in the final Show Jumping phase of the CCI*** class, but Francis Whittington produced one of only a handful of clear rounds in the top 20, and most importantly William Fox-Pitt didn't therefore giving Francis the win. Francis also picks up prizemoney for 5th placed Fernhill Highlight.
Jodie Amos & Wise Crack - 3rd Place & Definitely Going Places
Although the top 10 dropped 7 rails between them, the horses were jumping very well and giving a number of the fences plenty of clearance, which I think says a lot of good things about this competition - horses were fit, going was good, etc.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Blenheim 2014: CCI*** Cross Country - The Rockers, Rollers, Lovers & Sinners

Francis Whittington & Easy Target Moved Up Into 2nd Place During Cross Country Day
Cross Country day at Blenheim kept everyone on their toes. Few of the early combinations out on course made it round without error, and William Fox-Pitt who had 3 horses primed in the top 10 retired two of them after problems. I also saw him spend a good deal of time watching horses go through the ditch combination up in the woods, where Mille Dumas suffered at the hands of a loose dog.

Blenheim 2014: Friday - Dressage Day Two

Andrew Hoy & Cheeky Calimbo - Leaders After Dressage In The CCI***
The deck was was reshuffled throughout the second day of dressage, and Andrew Hoy came out on top with Cheeky Calimbo, a whisker ahead of Emily King. With 3 horses in the Top 10 including 3rd placed Fernhill Pimms, William Fox-Pitt could well pick up a good slice of the prize money.
Kitty King & Persimmon 6th on 38.2
I did manage to watch a few tests including two that made it into the top ten - Kitty King on Persimmon and Tim Price on Ringwood Sky Boy, both very polished.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Blenheim 2014 : Dressage Day 1 - Emily King On Form & In Front

Emily King & Brookleigh Lead The Dressage CCI*** After Day One
Last to go today in the CCI*** 18-year-old Emily King took a clear lead this afternoon with a score of 35.4, which considering this is her first run at this level is even more impressive. Whilst Emily was pleasantly surprised with her test today (a personal best), she is no stranger to success holding championship medals.  Listen to Emily's vox pop interview after her test.
Jodie Amos & Wise Crack Scores 42.8 for 4th 

The remainder of the top ten is predominantly British at this point, with just Phillip Dutton (USA) & Andrew Hoy (AUS) sharing 10th place. There are several good horses to come tomorrow, but it will take an exceptional test to take the lead from Emily.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Blenheim 2014: Trot-up Day - Sleek Lines & Smooth Operators

The First Horse Inspection - CCI*** ("The Trot-up")
September is my favourite month of the year for all sorts of reasons - great light for photography, the autumn colours are just coming through, warm sunshine, birthdays, and not least because it's time for Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, the last big three-day-event of the UK calendar, and one of the best to visit. As I'm free from the shackles of work for the rest of the month I'm planning to be at Blenheim every day.

New To Blenheim - Aston Martin 
Whilst officials and exhibitors were busy putting the final touches to the main site, down by the stables the sport's fashion parade, the first horse inspection, got the competition underway this afternoon. In beautifully bright sunshine all competitors dressed up in their Sunday best, polished their horses and presented themselves to the Ground Jury & Veterinary Delegation by way of the 'trot-up'. All passed although a few made a visit to the holding box for closer inspection.

King Of Cool - Ben Hobday

Monday, 8 September 2014

Goring Heath Horse Trials 2014: Road Test

Goring Heath
For one reason or another I didn't make it to Burghley this year, but with a day to myself and a new camera (the Nikon D810) I was itching to try out, I had to head out. With a big cycling event in Oxford & Goring Heath Horse Trials both within reach I flipped a coin and Goring Heath won.