Take a look round Bubby Upton’s yard as she gears up for her Badminton debut

  • Horse & Hound takes a tour round Bubby Upton’s yard near Newmarket in Suffolk, as she prepares for her first crack at Badminton Horse Trials, presented by Mars Equestrian, with Cola III. Bubby was European junior champion with Eros DHI, and took the British under-25 crown at Bicton last summer on Cannavaro, and holds a glut of other championship medals. As she winds up her university degree in sports management this summer, Bubby stands on the cusp of very exciting professional senior career. She has five advanced horses who could be aiming for five-star this season, plus her young rider star Eros DHI to campaign at four-star.

    The British under-25 champion Cannavaro takes in the view from his double-aspect stable. Cannavaro is being primed for a tilt at Luhmühlen CCI5*.

    Bubby Upton's yard

    “Cola is very chilled in general, but he can really spook when you are riding him”: Bubby rides past the paddocks aboard Cola, who is notoriously spooky to ride.  Her horses enjoy plenty of turnout, typically going out at night in the summer months.

    Bubby with her two new advanced rides, Clever Louis and Jefferson 18. She acquired the rides after Bicton last year, after meeting Dr Geoffrey and Kate Guy – they have since become her owners and their business Chedington Equestrian her new sponsor.

    Bubby Upton's yard

    Five horses gunning for five-star. Each one has potential CCI5* entry pencilled in for this season – Bubby made her debut at the level at Pau last autumn, finishing 12th on Cola. From left to right: Jefferson, Clever Louis, Magic Roundabout IV, Cannavaro and Cola, plus the family bull terriers!

    A kiss for Cola. Head girl Katie Dutton spends a quiet moment with the stable star.

    “It’s such a team effort to do all those early starts and late finishes,” says Bubby, pictured with grooms Katie and Emma Pearson. “I’m the lucky one who gets to pick up the prizes but it’s an astronomical team effort with how much I put on my plate.”

    “He is my best friend – he’s taught me both how to win and how to lose,” says Bubby of Eros DHI, the 15.2hh whom she has partnered to multiple European youth championships. Although he will be kept to four-star short this season following injury, Bubby adores riding him: “He’s like putting on an old pair of shoes.”

    Bubby Upton's yard

    The tack room is awash with rosettes and sashes.

    Plaques to record the major events at which Bubby has already competed – this wall will be filling up fast over the next few years.

    Bubby Upton's yard

    The exercise board.

    Bubby does most of her cross-country schooling over the course on her parents’ farm. It started out with grassroots fences for her mother Rachel when she was competing, and has since developed as Bubby has moved up the levels.

    Don’t miss the full interview with Bubby in this week’s issue of Horse & Hound, which is out today (5 May).

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