|Hambleden | A Great Start To Spring Albeit Without The Bluebells|
Hambleden has been one of my favourite events to ride at for many years, made special by the carpet of bluebells that usually cover the woodland setting across much of the event. With a prolonged cold and dry early spring, these have been late to flower. Paul Tapner managed to find the solitary volunteer bluebell that had braved the cold and emerged in time for the show.
Intermediate day was not without it’s problems on cross country for many and as far as I can remember seemed to have had an extra loop added this year, just after the second water complex. This included a deceptive drop fence – not that it caused significant problems but I think the downhill run off on landing caught a few people by surprise.
Whilst the much of the cross country course twists and turns through woodland, the show jumping and dressage is held in the open flat ground set against a magnificent backdrop of hills where you can often see buzzards circling above you.
|Paul Tapner & Yogi Bear | OI Winners|
I watched a few in the dressage including Paul Tapner riding Yogi Bear who scored an impressive 22.3 in the OI to lead his section, and went on to win. Tom McEwen in before him had less luck as his horse literally planted all 4 feet for a good 30 seconds at one point before be persuaded to continue.
With Badminton just two weeks away (this was last weekend by the way), you can often find a few of the Badminton entries here for a little ‘combined training’, and Francis Whittington had both his Badminton entries here, including the lovely grey , Easy Target, who also had a cruise round a few of the cross country fences for good measure.
|Francis Whittington & Easy Target | Match Practice For Badminton|
If you’ve never been before, it’s well worth a visit, on four legs or two.
|Laura Collett | Usual Trademark Cross Country Style|
|My Favourite Grey Of The Day|
|In Form & Flying | Vittoria Panizzon|
|Bruce Haskell Proudly Sporting His New Hat|
|OI Winners Paul Tapner & Yogi Bear|
|Tim Price Having A Good Gallop After A Hold On Course|
|Kate Lucas Making The Drop Look Easy|
|Paul Tapner On His Other Ride Inishmor On Their Way To 3rd Place|