Badminton 2019 was once again another incredible event for the HTSG, especially as our fundraising events raised over £3000, more than doubling the total from 2018. These funds will go directly to supporting the British team heading to the Tokyo Olympics. A big thank you to all those members and guests who came to the marquee and brought raffle tickets and bid in our auction.
As you’ll know the British riders had a successful event with Piggy French winning her first 5* and making it the 100th British 5* winner ever. In total 6 of the top 10 placed riders were British which is fantastic news for our teams going forward towards the Europeans this year and Olympics next year.
Our marquee was the usual epicentre of activity at Badminton with riders, trainers, world class teams and of course our members coming in to have refreshments all week and of course our infamous pre-cross country breakfast. We organised two events this year, our now traditional cross country preview evening on the Friday and an evening of comedy with Rory Bremner following the cross country.
Our cross country preview evening panel
The cross country preview proved to be very popular again this year with the marquee full with members and guests. On the panel were HTSG Ambassador Laura Collett, former Badminton winner Pippa Funnell, Team GBR Performance Manager Dickie Waygood and Badminton course designer Eric Winter. In addition to this we had Diarm Byrne of EquiRatings picking out the ones to watch and where he thought the event could be won and lost. As usual, committee member Spencer Sturmey did a great job of compering the evening.
Following the cross country on Saturday evening, members and guests joined us for a very entertaining evening of comedy with Rory Bremner, who also acted as auctioneer for our fund-raising auction. Rory is a big equestrian fan with his daughter competing regularly and he brought us some very topical and hilarious impressions, including President Trump and Oliver Townend.
Rory Bremner and his impressions...
Throughout the event we ran a series of cross country course walks with Yogi Breisner, Ginny Elliot, Spencer Sturmey and Irish rider Joseph Murphy, all of which were very popular and well supported.
About the Sunday course walk HTSG Chair, Ginny Elliot said:
Both HTSG Ambassadors, Alex Bragg and Laura Collett were competing at Badminton but neither had the best of times unfortunately. Alex was disappointed with Zagreb’s dressage score of 31.7 and on Saturday morning he made the decision to withdraw and reroute to another event and now heads to Chatsworth in the Event Rider Masters this weekend.
Alex Bragg and Zagreb
Laura and Mr Bass started Badminton as one of the favourites and didn’t disappoint in the first phase with a dressage score of 27.6 to be in eighth place before cross country. On the cross country Laura and Mr Bass had a brilliant round, jumping clear with 17.2 time faults. Everyone in the HTSG marquee was thrilled to have witnessed this success. Sadly, as members arrived for the trot up on Sunday morning, they learned that Mr Bass had been withdrawn.
Laura said: “I can’t quite believe I’m having to write this. Mr Bass was totally awesome jumping clear round the toughest track he’s ever seen but sadly he has sustained an injury. My special boy will be given all the love and care in the world to nurse him better. He’s my horse of a lifetime and my best friend. We will be back fighting.”
Laura Collett and Mr Bass
All at the HTSG wish a speedy recovery to Mr Bass. Laura will be joining Alex in the Event Rider Masters this weekend on hot favourite London 52 so we wish them both the best of luck. Members who can’t be there can tune in to eventridermasters.tv to watch the livestream.
The next big event is Burghley and members are now able claim their members passes. You should have all received an email from The Ticket Factory detailing how to claim yours online. Any problems let us know.
If you came to see us at Badminton and would like to give us some feedback, positive or not please do contact us via social media (links below) or via our contact details.
Don't forget to keep an eye on the website and social media channels for all the latest eventing updates and news.
All photos taken by HTSG Committee Member, Michael Rogers © MDR Photo
Following on from the successes of our 2018 Training Scholars, Alex Bragg and Laura Collett, we are delighted to announce they will continue their involvement with HTSG as Ambassadors for 2019.
Please listen to the recent Eventing Podcast HTSG special edition which reviewed the 2018 results for Alex and Laura, and highlighted the impressive statistics achieved by both riders, thanks in part to the training scholarships from HTSG.
We wish our HTSG Ambassadors every success for the 2019 season, and we look forward to working with them to provide our members with unique opportunities to get to know Alex and Laura better.
This weeks Eventing Podcast episode is a special interview with the 2018 Horse Trials Support Group Scholars Laura Collett & Alex Bragg.
Talking stats, stable superstars & plans for 2019 it’s a great insight into two of the most talked about riders on the British circuit.
On Sunday morning during the Blenheim Horse Trials the HTSG hosted a master class given by our scholar Alex Bragg. Spencer Sturmey joined Alex and as a duo proved to be excellent hosts for the session, with both adding interesting and fun insight on training event horses.
Alex was riding one of his younger, more inexperienced horses which has moved up the eventing levels quickly from BE100 in 2017 to winning an Intermediate at Gatcombe just last week.
Alex demonstrated a short exercise which he uses to help develop athleticism in his horses. Firstly they are required to stretch over an oxer before then shortening their stride, bending through their rib cage, and lifting up through their shoulder to get itself more engaged as it jumps three small fences built in a fan shape.
One of the overall aims of this exercise is to help build core strength in the horse. It also allows the horse to think for itself and work out where to put its legs when it comes to the three fences which are close together.
During the master class Alex had to tweak the exercise because the horse was tense and shying away from the marquees and speakers (it was her first time in a large event arena). To stop the horse cutting in to early Alex placed a pole as a guide rail and used his wife Simmone as a block to help the horse meet the fences in the middle.
Alex uses this exercise with with both younger and experienced horses, being flexible on the height and distance depending on the horse, with the aim of quality over quantity when it comes to grid work like this.
For members and visitors who attended the master class, we hope you enjoyed it and for those who were not able to attend you can watch this video to get an idea of how the session went.
Alex and our second scholar, Laura Collett both had a very successful event at Blenheim and your can read about it here on the website.
Laura Collett wins CIC3* 8/9 year old class
HTSG scholar Laura Collett had an incredibly successful weekend when she finished first and third in the prestigious CIC3* for eight- and nine-year-old horses at the Ssangyong Blenheim Palace Horse Trials.
Previous winners of this class have gone on to win 4* events and championship medals and Laura looks to have two stars in winner London 52, owned by our own committee member Karen Bartlett with Keith Scott, and Diana Chappell’s Dacapo (3rd).
“London 52 finds it so easy it’s scary,” Laura said of the nine-year-old she bought two years ago out of a showjumping yard. “He’s pure class. It’s some feeling riding a horse with a long stride like that. Yet again, I’ve bought a horse I don’t want to sell – I really don’t have much of a business head!”
Photos © Fiona Scott-Maxwell and MDR Photo
Watch Laura's winning interview with Blenheim commentator (& HTSG committee member) Spencer Sturmey...
Alex Bragg makes up for fall at Burghley with 3rd place in the CCI3*
HTSG Scholar Alex Bragg and his top horse Zagreb made up for an unlucky fall across country at Burghley a couple of weeks ago with a very close third place at the SsangYong Blenheim Horse Trials in the CCI3*. They show jumped clear to finish on their dressage score of 29.6, just 1.2 penalities behind the winner. Alex said: “Our aim was the top three – job done!”
As well as Zagreb in the top 10, Alex finished an impressive 9th onboard one of his new rides for 2018 Barrichello, with whom he is building an impressive partnership. Alex was also competing in the 8/9 year old class with Shannondale Percy.
Photos © Fiona Scott-Maxwell and MDR Photo
As well as competing on three horses Alex hosted a master class in the main arena on Sunday morning and you can read more and watch a video right here on the website.
August was an extremely hectic month for HTSG Scholar Alex Bragg and it started with two horses competing at the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park. It was a very successful event with Shannondale Percy finishing 2nd in the Intermediate championships.
In the CIC*** British Open Championships Barrichello finished 9th and won the trophy for the youngest horse in the top ten. That is very exciting for the future!
After Gatcombe it was off to Homme House with five youngsters and there were some sold performances with two in the top 10...
Next up was Hartpury and it was Alex's birthday weekend. There was no win or top placing for the birthday boy but he was happy with the two younger horses in the CCI* class...
Following Hartpury Alex had three rides at West Wilts with young horses all going well and two in the top 10. Then it was onto Somerford Park with 6 horses and the star of the stable was My Lucky Day finishing 2nd in the Intermediate - what a great name for a successful horse! There were also 2 more top ten finishes.
After Somerford it was a trip across the Irish Sea to Millstreet for Alex with 5 horses, three in the CIC** and two in the CIC***. Well it was definitely worth Alex making the trip as he took 2nd on Zagreb and 5th on Alactraz II in the CIC** and he placed 3rd on Barrichello and 4th on Shannondale Percy in the CIC***. What the below video of Alex explaining the SJ course.
Last event of the month for Alex was Burghley, known as the biggest four star in the world. Alex headed there with top horse Zagreb. Dressage went well but Alex was a little disappointed with his score to be 14th before XC.
On the XC Alex was having a fantastic ride and was just getting into the middle of the course when he had a very unfortunate fall at the Maltings. The good news is they were both fine and will be back in action at Blenheim next week.
Both of our HTSG Training Scholars, Alex Bragg and Laura Collett, are in action at the SsangYong Blenheim Palace Horse Trials next week, and we are putting them to work!
Alex and Laura will be hosting a course walk (CIC course) on Thursday 13th September at approximately 11:30am. This will be a fantastic opportunity for HTSG members and their guests to get a detailed insight of the course and ask our scholars any questions. The course walk is free of charge to members, and £10 for guests (including a donation to the event's nominated charity). We would like to thank the organiser's of Blenheim for allowing this to happen.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your place. Numbers will be limited.
Alex Bragg Master Class
We are very excited to announce that Alex has kindly agreed to present a Master Class on behalf of HTSG on Sunday 16th September in the Marlborough (Main) Arena at 10:00am.
Alex will ride one of his horses and be joined on the ground by Spencer Sturmey. Please do join us for what promises to be an educational and entertaining session.
Tickets are available for the WEG supper being held on Saturday 15th September. All of the action from the cross-country at Tryon will be shown live on the big screen, as well as some exclusive behind the scenes footage from Team GBR. Please see the attached flyer for more information.
Owners, Athletes and Trainers Facility at Blenheim
The organiser's of the SsangYong Blenheim Palace Horse Trials have secured support for a dedicated Owners, Athletes and Trainers (OATs) facility for this year’s event, and as well as the owners of horses who are competing, they are very kindly offering members of HTSG to use the facility.
The facility will be supported by Theraplate UK whose wave vortex stimulation therapy products are aimed at equine, dog and human rehabilitation and are used by vets, rehab centres and several riders.
The Owners, Athletes and Trainers marquee will be located adjacent to the main arena collecting ring allowing owners and HTSG members to watch the horses prepare for CCI3* dressage and the show jumping phases of the 8&9-year-old CIC3* and the CCI3* as well as a great place to see the ‘south lawn’ loop of the CCI3* cross-country on Saturday.
There will be tables and chairs inside, a garden area with patio furniture, complimentary refreshments, daily papers and lifestyle magazines and from the sponsors complimentary tea and coffee and a welcome glass of fizz!
Please ensure that you wear your HTSG badge to gain access to this facility.
Finally, we would like to wish Alex and Laura, as well as any HTSG members with horses competing, the very best of luck for a safe and successful Blenheim.
We look forward to seeing you.
With best wishes,
Alex had a very busy and successful July, starting with 6 horses competing at Barbury International Horse Trials with four horses finishing their sections in the top ten...
After Barbury, Alex headed to Jardy in France and wow what an amazing event it was for him. Zagreb performed out of his skin in the Event Rider Masters (ERM) CIC3* section to lead from start to finish to claim a famous win. Not to be out done, Shannondale Percy finished 3rd in the other CIC3* section and in just their second competition together Alcatraz came 9th in the CIC2*.
After all the excitement of Jardy it was back home for Alex and Team Bragg for 7 horses at Dauntsey and then onto Aston Le Walls with four in the Intermediate - there was more success with two 3rd places for Bonmahon Blue Mist and King of the Mill.
After Aston Le Walls, Alex headed to Osborne House on the Isle of Wight for the inaugural London Capital & Finance Osborne Horse Trials. All three horses (Zagreb, Barrichello & Alcatraz) went well with star of the show being Barrichello taking second place.
To round up the month Team Bragg were out in full force at Wilton Horse Trials with an unbelievable 8 horses competing. There were another 2 winners, King of the Mill in the Intermediate and Cobalt De Dugny in the BE100.
Alex Bragg, one of the HTSG scholars for 2018 talks to us about the support he has received and some of the benefits of being a member.
If you haven't heard Alex won the latest leg of the Event Rider Master on his top horse Zagreb. Read the full report on the ERM website.
June proved to be a very busy month for Alex with his increasing string of horses competing at various national and international events. At the beginning of the month he had 6 young horses running at West Wiltshire...
Next up for Alex was one of his local Somerset events, Nunney International Horse Trials where he had 9 horses over the weekend. It was a successful weekend with 7 top 10 places...
This busy month was finished off at Chepstow with 5 horses running all in one day. It was a day of mixed fortune but Alex continued to perform with his young horses with a win and a 3rd place...
HTSG - News