ON THE HOOF: WITH DEBORAH SMITH

Deborah reflects on a scorched summer season and autumn dates for the diary...
Horse

What a scorcher of a summer we have had! With endless sun and little rain, the challenge for this summer has been finding somewhere to ride on the hard-as-concrete ground!

My horses Oli and Strider don’t seem to care how firm the ground is, but we have been trying to take it steady and a heading to events run on a surface or where the ground has been carefully managed and prepared to give the best possible conditions.

I certainly don’t envy people who stage big events in this country! We are so weather influenced and every year seems to bring a new set of challenges.

But we have had a great time, with Oli and I going to Bishop Burton show jumping then out eventing and dressage; we have qualified for some autumn championships so lots to look forward to still this season.

Strider who has been out doing Pony Club and dressage with Verity Ward while her own pony gets over a tendon injury, has qualified for the British Dressage Under 25’s championships as well as having a fantastic fun week at Pony Club camp! The boys are on fire this year!

So not much down time here, and looking forward to a few spectating opportunities coming up with Blair Horse Trials, Burghley and then the World Equestrian Games at Tryon (North Carolina) 10-23 September.

Sadly, I will be watching on TV not spectating there this time! The GB teams are shortlisted and there are plenty of opportunities for medals among them, so I can’t wait to see how the different events pan out. Fingers crossed for riders and horses. Plenty of eyes will be on shortlisted rider Charlotte Dujardin CBE and her exciting young horse, Mount St John Freestyle.

Back home, the north of England has continued to shine as a region hosting the very best equestrian competitions with the FEI Pony European Championships being held on home soil at Bishop Burton College during August.

So, with many riders’ competition season drawing to a close for 2018, this is the time of the year when people often look to buy their new horse/s to work on through the winter and to produce for 2019.

For a truly luxe time out, and with sales from October to December, those with a serious investment to make head to Tattersalls, Europe’s leading bloodstock auctioneers.

Founded in 1766 Tattersalls holds a long and rich history, having started selling horses at Hyde Park Corner in central London. To this day its presence is still noted at Hyde Park corner with wall murals leading to Wellington Arch of its founder and the sales taking place.

Today Tattersalls is the largest bloodstock auctioneers in Europe, offering 10,000 thoroughbred horses at its HQ in Newmarket, Suffolk, and in Ireland. Each year the racing fraternity descend on its sale ring to buy the next champion – including Derby and Royal Ascot winners.

Records tumble with buyers, including sheikhs and royals, going to head-to-head in bidding wars and spending millions of pounds. Last year Tattersalls sold the highest priced horse ever at European auction for £6m and had a record breaking annual turnover of over 330 million pounds.


 

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