In between competing in this weekend’s CCI3* at Blenheim International Horse Trials (11-14 September), Oliver Townend will be attempting a different style of horsemanship — riding side saddle.

A Bit on the Side, a side-saddle display team, will be teaching Oli to ride after the dressage finishes today (Friday 12 September).

After a display by the team — made up of Sarah Moreland, Emma Brown, Jenny Torrance and Gemma Swan— which will include a jumping demonstration, manager Ginny Oakley will be teaching Oli in the main arena.

Ginny told H&H: “We have taught men before – back in 2001 we taught six members of the Household Cavalry to ride side-saddle — which was interesting to say the least!

“We will be doing a novice side-saddle class with Oli, probably for about 15 minutes. It will be difficult because side-saddle uses different muscles.

“We will demonstrate how a rider gets onboard, which is never easy — especially when you’re a tall chap, and then we’ll see how he gets on. He will definitely walk and trot – and with luck we’ll get him into a canter too.”

A Bit on the Side, featuring Oli’s class will take place at 5pm.

Blenheim Horse Trials website

Oliver Townend’s official website