My 2018 Badminton Horse Trials experience continued on the Friday by covering The Eventing Club’s course walk (sponsored by Noble Outfitters) with two times Badminton Champion and eventing legend, William Fox-Pitt. With Alice Fox-Pitt a Brand Ambassador for Hiho Silver, the opportunity arose to be at the walk after Hiho attended the Fox-Pitt Open Day in March. What a perfect opportunity to walk with and listen to William’s thoughts for the 2018 track and also capture a few moments along the way.
There are many course walks each year at Badminton, each hosted by past or present riders or trainers from the eventing world. Each will have its own unique feel to it and many fabulous snippets of information will come forward. This year the one with William was probably the biggest there. I realised it was probably the biggest I’ve ever seen as I walked up to fence 2 to meet Alice and Sam from the Eventing Club. With William running a little late it was down to Alice to give us the lowdown before his arrival with what seemed like more dogs than ever at his feet….!
With the run up to this year’s event a bit on the wet side the ground staff had left strict instructions that only competitors & officials were allowed directly on the course this year. Preserving the ground was vital and although it hadn’t rained much since late on Tuesday and was drying really well a few places were still a little spongy. The going for, and the safety of, the horses was far more important than getting in to touch these incredible fences and see the line William would be walking with his mount this year – Fernhill Pimms.
Despite it being a huge crowd William took control and carefully explained his thinking process and considerations at each jump as we walked, it was very clear that he intended to provide a great service to those from the Eventing Club. At the confusing Huntsmen’s Close complex we listened as William unravelled the mystery of the various options and potential lines from this hugely technical combination. As predicted by William there were a lot of errors on course the following day as accuracy and focus played a real part in the trees. Our group was overtaken by other course walks at times but I never once heard a complaint about whether our walk was too slow, if anything we pitied the others who were being whizzed round in comparison!
Time and again William provided really engaging input into the course. He was always right in the middle of the enraptured crowd but thankfully being so very tall it made for some very atmospheric images from my perspective. Questions were fired at him between fences and he chatted away quite happily. Along the way I found myself having lots of conversations with some big eventing fans, many of whom regularly attend course walks. The William Fox-Pitt walks are renowned for being fabulous to attend.
I now also agree!
Huge thanks to William and Alice for allowing me to document the occasion in this way, to Sam from The Eventing Club for keeping the whole show on the road, and to Noble Outfitters for sponsoring the walk too. Finally to Hiho Silver for sending me along to represent them in this way.
To view the Hiho Badminton Collection and find your own beautiful keepsake then head here. If you are interested in discovering what The Eventing Club can offer you, then why not pop along to their website and find out more…
Have a fabulous day!
To find my blog about 2018 Best Dressed Trot Up at Badminton’s 1st horse inspection then click this link x