It was a glorious weekend of sunshine and sport at the St James’s Place Barbury Horse Trials. Here are eight things we learnt at the Wiltshire event…
1. Upsilon is still gorgeous. We fell in love with the grey stallion when he and Tom Carlile won the Event Rider Masters (ERM) at Barbury last year and it was a huge thrill to see this incredible jumper back to his best on British soil last weekend after a turbulent time since things went a bit wrong at the Europeans last year.
2. Top riders are getting into #WearGreenForJonty, the initiative to show support for Irish eventer Jonty Evans, who recently suffered a serious brain injury in a fall at Tattersalls. China’s Alex Hua Tian swaps a red base layer for a green one as he pilots Don Geniro across country (pictured above).Green arms for Australian four-star combination Warren Lamperd and Silvia. New Zealand’s former world and Olympic champion Blyth Tait — who also designed the novice cross-country course — riding Leo Distinction.
3. One can get eliminated at any time. Izzy Taylor suffered the misfortune of her competition ending in the dressage in the ERM section when Director General took exception to the big screen and wouldn’t co-operate.
4. Broken tack doesn’t have to be the end of your competition. Toby Piggott suffered a broken martingale across country on Golden Forever, but still put in a fast cross-country round to finish 11th in the ERM.
5. Barbury is beautiful, whatever way you look at it. With the sun beating down and bathing the surrounding hills in glorious light, it may have been a sweaty weekend, but it was also a feast for the eyes — and H&H photographer Peter Nixon even captured an unusual angle…
6. When the temperature is around 30°C, champagne is a welcome cooler… as demonstrated by the ERM top three of Tom Carlile, Gemma Tattersall and Chris Burton.
7. Sometimes, genes will out. We’re not sure we recommend taking off this far away from fences, but if your dam is triple four-star winner Headley Britannia and your sire is Jaguar Mail, who showjumped at the Olympics, it’s clearly possible. Lucinda Fredericks’ stallion Britannias Mail and his rider Libby Seed went on to record a clear round in the CIC2*.
8. Sun cream is your friend. Yes, we know we sound like your mother, but we saw a few lobster red bodies over the weekend. Ouch!
Pictures by Peter Nixon
Full report from Barbury in H&H magazine this Thursday (issue dated 12 July).