I swear the world is turning faster! I can’t believe how quickly Barbury International Horse Trials has come around. I visited Barbury on Wednesday to help a friend set up some internet access, and as usual the place looks immaculate.
Aside from the stately homes that play host to horse trials, Barbury is amongst the most picturesque venues for eventing. Some of the dressage is held away from the main showground, down in a small valley. Whilst many might find it a nuisance, I’ve always loved the meander down through the wildflower meadows to these remote arenas, and for those on foot there’s always the shuttle buggies. The saddest thing about Barbury this year is we won’t see the wonderful wonder horse, Avebury, back again. It won’t be the same without him, but it will be great….
In recent years the event has got underway on a Thursday due to the growth in entries for the CIC*** class requiring dressage to be spread over two days. I made it to Barbury today for a hour or so at lunchtime to watch the novice class which I’ve competed in before. All the classes here have really twisty courses with switch back turns that would rival any Italian Alpine road. This can make it quite difficult to maintain any momentum as you wind your way up and then down the steep hillside. Without question these are tough courses!
The newly formed Event Rider Masters series runs it’s 3rd leg of a six part condensed format CIC*** series here this weekend. The live coverage promises to be a real treat with additional cameras, including ultra slow motion, drone, and vehicle mounted footage included in the free to air coverage on eventridermasters.tv .
Andrew Nicholson, Barbury’s most successful rider by far, has his top horse Nereo entered in this class, having proved ‘unselectable’ for the Rio Olympics. His former pupil, and winner of a previous ERM leg, Astier Nicolas, is also entered. Both are notably fast across the country so this should turn out to be a thrilling finish to Saturday’s entertainment.
I’m hoping to return to Barbury over the weekend, and will post more as soon as possible. In the meantime here are a few more photos from the novice class, and the important links.
Make it to Barbury if you can, it’s well worth the trip!