Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Vintage Eventing: Blair Castle International Horse Trials 1993

1993 was obviously a very busy year for J and I. We took a riding holiday in France in March, we were at Badminton in May, Lion D'Angers in October and spent a week in Scotland in August part of which we spent at Blair Castle International Horse Trials.
The 1993 Programme

Coffee in the members enclosure
I know exactly why I went to Blair; we lived in Cheshire at the time and at an Eventing clinic Nigel Taylor had spoken about Blair and how the hilly terrain had suited his horse "Nick of Time" which had resulted in them winning in 1991. Nigel had asked "has anyone been to Blair" and I wanted to make sure next time I could say "yes!".

My recollection is we did Blair in style, staying at the Atholl Arms Hotel across the road and having members passes for the four days. We came to Blair from Edinburgh where we'd spent a couple of nights at the Fringe and we spent one of the Dressage days visiting the Dalwhinnie Whiskey Distillery a little further up the A9 (this being the furthest North I've ever been in the UK!).

Fairy tale Dressage
Blair Castle, with it's fairy tale turrets and very own Duke of Atholl, is extremely photogenic and we were blessed with good weather for our stay.

I clearly wasn't very interested in Dressage in those days as I have no video of the Dressage competition. There are two photographs of a single competitor taken against the backdrop of the castle. As you will see from Part 1) of the video we did spend some time walking the course on the Dressage days with the thought of jumping off the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Ski Jump (Fence 10) causing me considerable concern!

My memory is that we met the Duke of Atholl walking the course at the Ski Jump but I was much too respectful to catch him on the video; these days I guess it would be a carefully crafted "selfie". I also have a memory of Pippa Nolan hacking "Bits and Pieces" and having a crafty fag? I certainly can't find this on the video so if that is a scurrilous false memory I apologise!!

There are also photographs of the Landrover UK Road Crossing (Fence 4) and the BHS Scotland Irish Bank which I used at the end of Part 1 of the video.

I was delighted to find that I had retained the original Programme from 1993 and that it contained the intermediate results sheets and running orders all diligently completed by J so that I could work out who every rider was on the video.

Here is part 1) of the video.

Part 2) is now complete; thanks to Katie Dumas on Twitter for recognising her very good friend Rachel Robley (Hunt) and the stallion Matinee who were CCI leaders after cross country.

Rachel Robley and Matinee

In part 2 look out for Rodney Powell, Matt Ryan, Pippa Nolan, Leslie Law, Rachel Robley, Andrew Bennie and of course the wellie throwing competition.

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