1. Fluttering in the dovecotes
In his most recent H&H column, respected showing judge Stuart Hollings discusses new rules for 2022 and the ensuing “fluttering in the dovecotes”, adding that those involving amateurs “can at best be described as bureaucratic buffoonery”. Anyone who has operated as a professional showing producer, rider or groom will now always be deemed a professional, to which Stuart says someone joked “this was akin to being given a life sentence or acquiring a criminal record!”
2. Leaving the start box
March is here so spring has officially arrived, even if the weather hasn’t been told yet, and so, almost, has the first event of the season. Aston-le Walls and Poplar Park Horse Trials in Suffolk kick off British Eventing’s 2022 from 5-6 March, and it looks set to be a cracking opening weekend. Poplar is running classes up to open intermediate, with top riders including Oliver Townend and Tom McEwen, Ros Canter, Piggy March, Gemma Tattersall and Pippa Funnell entered. Equine stars due to appear include Gemma’s 2018 World Equestrian Games team gold medal-winning ride Arctic Soul, now aged 19
3. Taking over the reins
Olympic and European medal winner Gio and his new rider Annabella Pidgley made a winning start to their competitive partnership. The 17-year-old rider and “Pumpkin”, who won four medals with Charlotte Dujardin last summer, won the inter II at Onley Grounds Equestrian Complex on 26 February with 72.64%, on Annabella’s debut at that level.
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