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.
Following a thrilling show jumping phase at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, USA, Great Britain won both team and individual gold, and secured qualification to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Ros Canter and Allstar B took the individual Gold medal after last to go, Germany's Ingrid Klimke had a pole down at the last fence.
Gold – Great Britain (88.8)
Silver – Ireland (93.0)
Bronze – France (99.8)
Gold – Rosalind Canter and her own and Caroline Moore’s Allstar B (24.6)
Ninth – Kristina Cook and Elisabeth Murdoch and Keith Tyson’s Billy the Red (31.5)
10th - Piggy French and Jayne McGivern’s Quarrycrest Echo (31.8)
12th - Tom McEwen and on his own, Jane Inns and Alison McEwen’s Toledo de Kerser (32.4)
30th - Gemma Tattersall and The Soul Syndicate’s Arctic Soul (44.4)
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.
August was another very busy month for HTSG Scholar Laura Collett and it got off to the perfect start with two wins in the Novice at Smiths Lawn...
Straight after Laura headed back over to France for the CIC*** at Haras Du Pin on British number one ranked horse Mr Bass and also Finduss PFB. It was another great ride for Laura and Mr Bass finishing 3rd!!
This result was even more impressive when we later found out Laura and Mr Bass had not been selected for the World Equestrian Games and Laura received that news during the event.
After such disappointing news Laura headed to Somerford Park with 7 horses and had another very successful few days with 3 wins and 2 more top 10 places...
After such a successful event Laura headed to Scotland for Blair Horse Trials and the Event Rider Masters finale and Laura was in contention for the series win. During the event ERM filmed this tongue in cheek video of Laura and Chris Burton who was leading the series (and went onto win).
Laura had a very strong performance with London 52 who is still a young horse new to 3* and finished 8th and finished second in the series which is a fantastic result after such a consistent season.
Laura finished off the month with a 9 hour drive home from Blair and headed straight to Wellington Horse Trials on Bank Holiday Monday with 3 more horses!
After the big disappointment of not being selected for the WEG team Laura had hoped to run Mr Bass at Burghley (where our members get full event access) but unfortunately he didn't feel a 100% right so just before the event he was withdrawn. But don't worry as they will be back out next season aiming for the win at Badminton!
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 Members and guests are invited to join our Chairman and former Burghley winner, Ginny Elliot, on a course walk on Friday 31 August.
The walk will start from fence 3 at 10:30am.
Members free of charge, guests £5 donation.
Please email email@example.com to reserve a place as numbers will be limited.
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.
Barbury International Horse Trials was first up for Laura in July with 5 horses in action. Two top 10 results in the CIC2* and an excellent 9th in the Event Rider Master CIC3*.
After Barbury Laura had a quick trip to Tweseldown and then onto Jardy in France with three horses, one in CIC1*, 2* and 3*. Star of the three was London 52, finishing in 11th place in the Event Rider Masters CIC3* class.
Back on home soil Laura had a successful visit to Dauntsey Park with two young horses both winning their classes...
dAston Le Walls was the next event for Laura and again another busy one with 5 horses competing, 3 in the Advanced, 1 Open Intermediate and 1 Novice. Laura's successful month continued with another double win, with Hanson DHI in the Novice and Dacapo in the Advanced 8/9 yr old class.
Sadly after this successful weekend Laura had some sad news to announce, which was that her recently retired four star campaigner Grand Manoeuvre (Milo) had been put down aged 14, just a few months after being retired.
Laura said she was “totally devastated” by the loss of “Milo”.
The month was rounded out with British Eventing updating their leading horse and rider tables and we were very pleased to see that Laura had moved up to 5th in the rider standings and Mr Bass continued to hold onto his number one position.
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.
HTSG - News