So far it’s been a pretty bright and dry April for the UK. We’ve had blue skies all week, and the forecast for the next week or so is also set fair. I started today in ‘eventing downtown’ (Marlborough, Wilts) visiting Maizey Manor stables where Jesse Campbell is based. Jesse is one of the first timers at this year’s Badminton, and is guest blogging on the Badminton site in the run up to the event. I had intended to take a few photos of Jesse and his Badminton horse, Kaapachino out on the famous “Derby Gallop” at Manton House Estate, but access to this remote gallop proved a locked gate too far.
One of great things about my children is they’re nearly always happy to spend a day out watching the horses, so after a quick pit-stop at home to scoop them up I headed down to nearby Larkhill Horse Trials which is in the middle of Salisbury Plain just behind Stonehenge. The venue is very exposed so there’s always a strong breeze there and it’s ancient turf so the going is always pretty darn good. So whilst it’s looks like an event held in just a big green field it has perfect conditions for running a horse, and the infrastructure from the point-point course makes life much easier for all concerned.
I’d only really come down to Larkhill for something to do, keep the children entertained, and see a few friends at the same time, so didn’t really follow any of the competition although I did notice from twitter Jonty Evans, Coral Keen and Michael Rogers all seem to have had a good day. My son is starting to get the hang of eventing, although he calls it a ‘tournament’, but my daughter just sees it as “lots of horses running around”. Anywhere that has ice-cream and chocolate brownies is good to them.
As always it was good to see Charlie ‘Coffee’ (Massey), now sporting a new and improved set-up with his Coffee & Crust stand complete with ‘VIP Area’, and his poor dog Cocoa who had to endure my children’s constant attention.
People with children are always looking for new and interesting ways to entertain their families at weekends and during the holidays, so I’m surprised we don’t see slightly bigger crowds at these smaller events especially on beautiful days like these. The highlight of my day was spotting this lovely grey, Trelawny Wylie’s SILVER SEA MIST, on our way back to the car. He’s superfast too judging by the results, having picked up 10 time faults for coming home 37 seconds inside the optimum time.
Go Eventing – It’s a great day out!