‘You have to be on your A game’: top riders’ thoughts on Bramham Horse Trials’ cross-country courses

  • The 2022 Bramham Horse Trials is underway (9–12 June) and top riders have shared their initial thoughts on both the CCI4*-L and Land Rover-sponsored CCI4*-S Bramham Horse Trials cross-country courses with Horse & Hound.

    The CCI4*-L and CCI4*-S tracks, designed by Ian Stark, are 5,970m and 3,725m in length respectively and the optimum times for the courses are set to 10min28sec for the CCI4*-L competitors and 6min32sec for those in the CCI4*-S. Combinations in both classes will tackle the Bramham Horse Trials cross-country course on Saturday (11 June).

    Tom McEwen, who is riding MHS Brown Jack in the CCI4*-S and Brookfield Benjamin Bounce and Dream Big in the CCI4*-L says that the course “looks amazing”.

    “You don’t expect anything different now we’ve been here a few times and after Covid, it’s great to be back. It’s really nice to be jumping around one of Ian’s tracks again and I’m really looking forward to getting on and attacking it.”

    Tom thinks that there are questions peppered around the entire course for both classes.

    “As usual, the waters look like technical questions, but to be honest, I think there’s questions all the way around. I think that there’s quite a few places where you really have to be on your A game. I think the coffins in both the CCI4*-L and CCI4*-S are a serious question. The CCI4*-S is a bit tougher than it has sometimes been in the past, but I think that’s really nice so those horses can really learn then hopefully come back next year for the CCI4*-L.

    “Overall, the questions are from start to finish with curving lines and skinnies – it builds you into it and it’s a big course throughout – it’s a really great course.”

    Bramham Horse Trials cross-country course: fence 9a

    Bramham Horse Trials cross-country reactions: ‘It’s a proper four-star’

    Izzy Taylor, who won the CCI4*-S here in 2017 aboard Trevidden, has a busy Bramham week ahead of her, bringing forward Hartacker and Happy Days in the CCI4*-S, while she also has Monkeying Around and Ringwood Madras in the CCI4*-L.

    “The course looks very good. It’s a proper four-star and it’s a typical Ian Stark track – forward, bold, attacking and with lots of ditches. It looks fantastic – the place looks brilliant – and I think it’ll be a very good competition,” she explained. “I think from word go, you’ve got to be on your A game. It’s the type of course where little cumulative mistakes actually can add up to a big problem or to an expensive problem. So if there is a little problem, you’ve got to get back on it and put the confidence back into the horse as quickly as you can because otherwise it’s not going to want to do it.”

    Oliver Townend has As Is in the CCI4*-L and the promising Cooley Rosalent in the CCI4*-S in 2022.

    “I haven’t walked the CCI4*-S, but obviously the CCI4*-L and CCI4*-S are integrated,” he said. “It’s Bramham and the terrain has a massive part to play. I think it’s big and technical.”

    Keep up-to-date with all the action from Bramham via horseandhound.co.uk and read the full magazine report in the 16 June issue of Horse & Hound

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