“It has been a busy weekend for the H&C team, and in our quest to bring you the best footage for our show Rudall’s Round-up, we have been out and about on location.
First stop, the was the Stallion event at Hartpury, run by the British Bred Sports Horse (BBSH) association. The day was a real spectacle with interviews and demos from Bernard Le Courtois, Mark Todd, Oliver Townend and Michael Eilberg, plus 65 top stallions from the UK and Europe.
I am not scared to admit that my knowledge on breeding is not up to scratch so I was a little apprehensive about the day. On arrival though my fears were soon put to rest after an interview with Jan Rogers, or as I like to call her the ‘Oracle’. Jan and Kat organise the event and I was soon up to speed on who was who and which stallions to watch out for.
After running into the lovely showjumper Louise Pavitt, rider for the Brendon Stud, and shoving her in front of camera for a quick interview, I then grabbed the hilarious Shirley Light, owner of the stud. My next interview was my most nerve wracking of the day – a chat with the brilliant Bernard Le Courtois. Now Bernard's English is okay but my French is terrible, I come from the Del Boy school of French, so I did fear that the interview may be a disaster.
Bernard, however, was lovely and Jaguar Mail soon stole the show by dancing around in front of camera and reminding us he was once an Olympian.
Other stallions that stood out were the great Grafenstolz, ridden by Alex Hau Tian, and the legendary Parco (who has been recently imported by Ken Rehill). It was a joy to be in front of such amazing animals, and on British soil.
It wasn’t just the stallions on display; lots of top riders were there including Mark Todd, Oliver Townend, Paul Tapner and Clayton Fredericks. While interviewing Toddy, Mr Townend thought it would be funny to ride between us and camera girl Katie. Poor Katie thought she was about to be crushed - and she ensured I was put in the firing line from then on while she remained out of harm's way.
It was then on to Laura Collett’s yard two days later for our Olympic Watch feature. After what seemed like hours of wrong turns and sat nav blunders, I arrived at Laura’s yard relieved to find that, most of the equestrian press, had the same whistlestop tour of the Wiltshire back roads.
Laura’s yard - with its huge indoor - is impressive to say the least, but what seems more incredible is the record of this unassuming 22-year-old. Laura’s office/tea room is covered wall to wall with medals and pictures of her successes. Laura is a delight to interview and seems to have a level head on her shoulders. Will Laura make the team for 2012? As of yet it is undecided, but if not this year I am certain there will be several Olympics for her in the future.
No travelling for me for a few weeks as its hospital on Thursday for a knee operation, to repair the damage inflicted upon it by unruly four-year-old. Hope everyone is enjoying the new site, and make sure you follow us on Twitter to keep up with our latest outings."