The Osberton International Horse Trails   Leave a comment

The Osberton International Horse Trials bookends our eventing calendar by opening the season for us in February and closing it in October.

This weekend is a CCI 1 & 2 star event which tends to attract some big names in Eventing. Attending this weekend are; rising star Emily King (Mary’s daughter), William Fox-Pitt, Oliver Townend, Jock Pagett, Caroline Powell, Pippa Funnell and Piggy French.

Here the Saturday Cross County phase in words and pictures:

The weather forecast for yesterday was for rain, followed by more rain with a possibility of clearing skies in the late afternoon. So we had a few showers for a couple of hours followed by glorious sunshine all afternoon.

Osberton Oct 2014_0108Lots of prep goes into these gatherings and the love for the horse from the rider is always evident.

There was some Dressage going off at the start of the day. For the uninitiated Dressage is what you are forced to watch when you’ve been evil in a former life.

Osberton Oct 2014_0016As my wife said yesterday ‘making an eventing horse do dressage when it knows the Cross Country is next is like making a child do a spelling test before getting out of the car to go to Disney World’.  🙂

Caroline Powell and Emily King share a joke before setting off.

DL8D9069_0458Caroline and Emily – the current Queen bee talks with the King in waiting.

Osberton Oct 2014_0031Brollies up for a downpour. But it didn’t last.

Osberton Oct 2014_0043Full on concentration jumping out of the first water hazard.

Osberton Oct 2014_0053The supremely serene Emily King takes the course in her stride – cool as a cucumber on the first of her 3 rides.

There was a lovely combination of fences called the ‘witches Broomsticks’…..

Osberton Oct 2014_0089… I can’t think why they call them that.

Osberton Oct 2014_0082

And here’s Harry Meade back from breaking both of his elbows in a fall last year….

Osberton Oct 2014_0073… each landing was still a bit tentative.

Osberton Oct 2014_0116Mr Fox-Pitt warms up.

There is one particular jump on the course called the Leaf Pit which features a drop off a bank of some 2 meters (that’s about 6 feet in old money) and is quite fearsome. What follows are the various facial expressions (the rider’s not the horse’s) that express various levels of concern whilst jumping it.

Osberton Oct 2014_0127Emily King demonstrates the ‘what’s all the fuss about’ facial expression.

Osberton Oct 2014_0136This is the ‘Don’t look down, don’t look down, don’t look down….’ approach to the fence.

Osberton Oct 2014_0154This the ‘Yikes – I looked down!’ approach.

Osberton Oct 2014_0150This is definitely the ‘Oh SH*T!’ method……

Osberton Oct 2014_0190… not to be confused with the ‘CrapCrapCrap!’ approach demonstrated by Pippa Funell – even the horse has it’s eyes closed.

And finally…..

Osberton Oct 2014_0184.. just shear terror. Probably, at this point, tinged with great relief at feeling solid ground again.

It was a great fun day again and we finished the visit to Osberton with the traditional 5pm oven baked pizza sitting out by one of the two show jumping rings.

Osberton Oct 2014_0109TTime for a rest.

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