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,
HTSG - News