Thursday, 23 April 2009

Powderham Horse Trials.

This year saw the return of British Eventing to Powderham Castle. Last year’s Horse Trials proved to be a great success, despite the appalling rain and soggy conditions. This year saw a dramatic increase in the number of trade stands and spectators, helped out by the glorious sunshine and dry conditions underfoot.

The top riders were out in force, with the likes of Zara Phillips and William Fox-Pitt competing in the advanced class on their top horses. This was another rare occasion to see the amazing Toytown in action, and he looked in fabulous form.

The thing that I love most about Powderham is that you are able to get up close and personal to the riding greats. Unlike some of the really big events, such as Badminton, the riders seem very close to the spectators and can be seen wandering around the ground and watching each other. It is a fantastic opportunity to see our idols at close range and see them more as human beings! It is also humbling to see them competing against local riders.

The trade stands this year were greater in numbers, although because of that, they were placed away from the show jumping arena in their own quarters. This did have the disadvantage that you couldn’t shop and watch at the same time. Although, the view from the Otter Brewery bar was exceptionally good!

Andrew Nicholson, riding Avebury took the top spot in the Advanced section M, with Zara Phillips and Toytown claiming the prize in the N section. There was also success for local riders Claire Austin, who came third in the Novice Section K riding Rooskey and Helen West, who won the Novice Section L on Mon Chappelle.

Undoubtedly, this event will continue to grow in the future and is well worth a visit. It has certainly put me in the mood for the eventing season; roll on Badminton!

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