As there was minimal time to install this surface Nick explained that they had used Martin Collins Waxed ECOTRACK and this is a combination of synthetic fibres and fine silica sand. It consolidates quickly and mimics turf giving the horse’s consistent, supportive footing enabling them to perform without fear of slipping or getting concussion injuries.
The horses gave the gathered audience a real treat as they carried out two rehearsals during the afternoon performing their world famous “airs above the ground” movements.
The surface was kept poop free by the fastidious grooms that accompany the horses everywhere. Each horse has its own groom that is solely in charge of its care and they were turned out to perfection for this BBC performance.
As the lights and cameras descended outside to the Piazza ready for the live TV show, the presenters Matt Baker and Alex Jones were again amazed by the technicalities of putting this surface in front of Broadcasting House.
After the horses pirouetted and piaffed around the mini arena and did an amazingly tight musical routine in such a small space the Martin Collins team were then tasked with removing the surface and leaving the BBC Piazza in all its non-sandy former glory!
Using many hands and shovels the trusty wheelbarrows carried the ECOTRACK back to the waiting lorries and by midnight the final truck left the West End of London.
A rather surreal experience for all involved – but the Martin Collins adage of you can put an arena anywhere if you have the correct surface, knowledge and experience certainly rang true for this special event.
The Spanish Riding School of Vienna are performing at the SSE Arena, Wembley from the 11 – 13th November and at the Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham 18-20th November 2016.