Nina Barbour and her team have done a fantastic job at Bolesworth, especially given the weather, and it shows. The infrastructure put in over the past few years has really paid off. All horseboxes were on hardstanding and the Bolesworth crew were fantastic, doing everything they could to help.
The weather had no bearing whatsoever on the arena surfaces, which is a credit to Charles Britton and his team. The courses were great, the warm-ups were super and the arenas are fantastic — the moat in the International Arena is such a spectacular feature and has caused havoc for a few, as always. They seem to either love it or hate it.
Missing the public
It was sad the public couldn’t come this year. When the crowds are up on the hill looking down on you it is an incredible atmosphere. Of course we miss that, but there’s nothing anyone could do. The weather is the weather. It is unfortunate, but the setting is still beautiful and all the riders love coming here. Year on year it is improving, going from strength to strength and hopefully that will continue.
The course-building was very good, particularly in the international arena. In Friday’s 1.50m and Saturday’s ranking class, fences were falling across the course and it is good to see faults scattered like that with the right amount of clears. There were 12 going through to the 1.50m jump-off, which is perfect. You are going to get paid if you are clear and it is good sport and exciting to watch.
A team stalwart
Holly Smith’s win with Hearts Destiny was fantastic; I’ve loved that horse since I first saw him on the circuit. He is a stalwart of the British team and I’m sure we are going to continue to see them at the Europeans and beyond.
Another real positive is the scheduling of the amateur classes, which have been moved a bit later. It’s great for them that they don’t have to be on first thing, so have time to relax, and that’s been a big help with their riding and enjoying the social side as well.
Ref Horse & Hound; 20 June 2019