Welcome to the Your Horse team’s blog. Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of your favourite equestrian magazine each month? Well wonder no more. We’ll bring you updates of what we’ve been up to and share a sneak peek of what you can expect in upcoming issues of the magazine.
It’s been a phenomenal few weeks for British equestrian sport, with the eventing team winning the European championships, gold medals galore for the para dressage team and Brits topping the table at this year’s Burghley.
Speaking of Burghley, we were lucky enough to spend the weekend at this world-famous, four-star event and witness the action first hand.
We kicked things off by watching the dressage on Thursday, where Michael Jung went into an early lead on his horse, La Biosthetique - Sam FBW. We also watched the exciting Pony Club team show jumping, witnessing the Puckeridge Hunt Pony Club ride to victory.
The excitement didn't end there though and we were then invited to a fab day with the team from Musto on Friday. After a quick croissant and an orange juice in the morning, we were whisked away to have a go on the Musto Mare – a horse simulator where you could experience jumping Burghley for yourself.
Your Horse Amy was challenged with having a go and, despite having serious concerns that she’d only ridden her 14.2hh nag in the past 10 years, got on better than she thought (well, once she’d got the hang of steering).
William Fox-Pitt arrived shortly after Amy had finished her ride (much to her relief) and showed everyone how it was done by gliding over the course on the Musto Mare with no problems whatsoever. Read more here.
We also managed to nab William for a quick chat afterwards to find out what he thought of this year’s Burghley course – read the interview here.
After this, we headed straight to the dressage arena to see the action, including Mark Todd and American rider Laura Kieffer who stormed into first and second place, nudging Michael Jung down into third.
After a quick break, we met up with Musto again, who kindly invited us on a course walk with their sponsored rider, Zara Tindall. Walking along with her two black Labradors, Zara explained how she would approach each fence and seemed remarkably cool, given the task ahead of her.
We can confirm that the course is as long (if not longer!) than it looks on TV and the jumps are much higher than any of our heads. The Cottesmore Leap looks 10-times as frightening in real life and even Zara wouldn’t look at it as we were walking round. Scary stuff!
Saturday was the turn of the cross-country and Your Horse Amy was on site again at Burghley to watch the action. Don’t worry if you missed any of it – she’s compiled it all into a highlights reel that you can watch below.
Tina Cook was first out on the course and made it look very easy indeed, gliding over the fences well within the optimum time on her horse, Star Witness.
It wasn’t so easy for everyone though – Zara had a very soggy fall at the Trout Hatchery and Mark Todd took a tumble at Discovery Valley.
Michael Jung didn’t quite get the right line and retired with his horse, while Andrew Nicholson had a nasty fall over the Doris Logs (a new fence this year) on his first ride, Qwanza.
Last on the track was Oliver Townend and his horse, Ballaghmor Class. It was a case of last, but no means least as the pair not only took the lead after cross-country day, but also went on to win the overall competition.
Your Horse’s current training expert, Piggy French, also had a fab weekend at Burghley, finishing second with her horse, Vanir Kamira (or Tilly to her friends). We were lucky enough to see her last-minute preparations the day before the competition (watch the video below to find out more).
What about the magazine?
If you felt inspired after watching the dressage at the weekend, then we’ve got a treat coming up in Your Horse magazine soon as we have a training session with one of the Burghley dressage judges, Harry Payne.
Show-jumping star Jay Halim invited us along to his yard near Oxfordshire this week. He’s got an action-packed calendar at the moment, but told us his tips for keeping your horse fit, healthy and happy – they’ll be coming out in the next few months so keep your eyes peeled!
We also had another great training session with Piggy French before she headed out to Burghley at the weekend – don’t miss her training tips in the current issue and over the next few months.