Bolesworth is a show that keeps on growing. What organiser Nina Barbour has done is unbelievable and the additions and format show great commitment to the sport in Britain, especially in the north of England.
When I first came here all the jumping and parking were on grass, but every year I return the show is bigger and better.
The weather was a major factor and I felt for Nina and her team. Nothing could have coped with the rainfall we had on Tuesday and Wednesday, but the ground staff soon had plenty of machinery and hard core in place to help us weather the storm.
We had to cope with mud outside, but the footing in the all-weather arenas and collecting rings stood up to everything. The drainage system here did its job, and the going was perfect all week.
Each year the standard of jumping has risen and the great calibre of horses and riders competing here make it extremely hard to win a class.
British four-star shows like this are not too plentiful and as I live and jump over here it means less travel and makes it easier for me and other Britain-based riders to climb the rankings ladder.
Normally at a four-star show you need your top rides, but with the inclusion of age classes and 1.35m competitions, Bolesworth gives riders the opportunity to bring younger and less experienced horses.
With its moat and natural amphitheatre, the main ring is unique and it helps prepare up-and-coming horses for bigger shows.
The whole organisation from arena, stables, hospitality and parking has been well thought-out and they really look after the riders, owners and grooms.
I have enjoyed catching up with fellow Irish riders and for me one of the best wins of the show was that of Darragh Kenny and Go Easy De Muze.
Considering he had been riding that horse for only three weeks, Darragh’s winning round was fantastic. I think there is a lot more to come from that combination.
It was also nice for my wife Caroline to compete at Bolesworth and she went well in the amateur classes — it was great for the amateurs to ride in the international ring every day.
Last year Caroline was nursing a broken shoulder so she was adamant she would ride here this time, but as she is five months pregnant with our second child, this will be her last show for now.
Ref: Horse & Hound; 23 June 2016