The hedge training took place at Washbrook Farm, Aston le Walls. With every cross country jump you could imagine, and manicured grounds, my sister and I put our horses to the test. We warmed up over a few roll tops, logs and brush fences and worked our way around to line of the hedges from novice to advanced as they went up in size. Naturally we started small then worked up, incorporating a course with the advanced hedge with a whacking great ditch in front to finish. Both Otto and Alan sailed round and our minds were a little more at ease when we came to walk the Bicester Course the following weekend.
Big and bold would be the way I would describe the course. Hedges came thick and fast with 6/7 of the Open hedges shared with the intermediate course. Our team ‘The Harley Hedge Hoppers’ kindly sponsored by Harley Equestrian was made up by myself, my sister Sarah Holmes, Flora Seddon and her eventing buddy Rhian Smith.
The course rode very well and all of the horses skipped round, although not without the odd satnav error that you may see on the head cam clip below. Speed was not our strong point and no prizes were won – tactics for next time…no parties the night before, walk the course properly, remember it and pick up the pace. A great day was had by all and some brilliant organising by the Bicester Hunt.
Team chasing is such a fun sport to get involved in and is great to give your horse a bit of confidence for the upcoming season. It’s not often you get to school over a line of immaculate hedges with three other horses, it also helps you get your eye in when first get faced with a hedge on a day’s hunting. There are still a few left in the Autumn season, so book yourself in.