If you are already trying to hatch a plan to escape the Christmas washing up — why does turkey and all the trimmings involve quite so many pans? — over-tired children or the carpet of discarded wrapping paper in the sitting room, a date with one of these equestrian DVDs could be the solution.
From reliving the highs (and lows) of 2015’s Badminton Horse Trials, to being entranced by the magic of French horseman Jean-François Pignon, any of these DVDs will give you a much needed break from the Christmas chaos.
This is the story of French horseman Jean-François Pignon, who starred at this year’s Olympia Horse Show. Aged 11 he was given a Camargue filly, Gazelle, as a present from his father and soon discovered that he had a special connection with horses. The film charts his religious conversion, “which brings him to understand the kind of person he wants to become” and his developing relationship with horses.
Price: €25 (£18)
2. The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials 2015
This year’s event saw 57 of the 81 combinations that set out on the four days of competition complete the Sunday afternoon, as William Fox-Pitt secured his second Badminton title on Chris Stone’s stallion Chilli Morning, 11 years after winning on Tamarillo. The DVD shows the best of the dressage, followed by the course walk with some top riders, then extensive highlights of the cross-country and finally the concluding action in the showjumping arena, accompanied by expert commentary by Lucinda Fredericks.
3. The Island Project
Emma Massingale’s film tells the story of three-year-old Evenos and four-year-old Echo, bought in May from the Connemara pony sales in Clifden and taken in June this year to the 70 acre uninhabited and windswept island of Freaghillaun South in the Connemara National Park, along with four of her own Connemaras. Emma was determined that she would be alone for the month of the project and much of the footage she filmed herself, using a number of cameras from GoPros to handheld devices. Spectacular aerial footage was filmed separately to capture the wild remote beauty of the place.
Ahead of this year's show (15-21 December), H&H went to visit the 46-year-old at his home in southern France to
4. FEI European Jumping Championships 2015
The Netherlands dominated the FEI European Jumping Championships winning both the team and individual titles with their star rider Jeroen Dubbeldam. He and his mount Zenith jumped five clear rounds with only one time penalty in the final round to secure the gold. Two 52-minute programmes cover the team and individual competitions — including Britain’s all important Olympic qualification.
5. FEI European Dressage Championships 2015
Relive Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro’s domination at the FEI European Dressage championships, taking individual gold in the grand prix special and grand prix freestyle. Three 52-minute programmes cover the team (grand prix), grand prix special and freestyle competitions.
6. FEI European Eventing Championships 2015
If you were at Blair for the FEI European Eventing Championships in the driving rain, you’ll be relieved to recap on the action from the comfort of your sofa. The 52-minute programme takes you through all three phases, with Germany’s Michael Jung claiming individual gold, as well as the team gold, and the British team settling for silver.
7. Being A.P.
The eagerly anticipated film about 20-times champion jockey AP McCoy, who retired in April is already out on DVD. “With unprecedented access to A.P. and those closest to him, Being AP celebrates an incredible man who became the greatest jump jockey the world has ever seen,” says the Racing Post.