In 2023 the hashtag #cobscan went viral after Morven Ritchie and her 20-year-old cob Mikey went clear cross country in the Voltaire Design BE90 Grassroots Championships at Badminton. The pair’s achievement was the inspiration for Horse & Country’s new series, Cobs Can Go Eventing, produced in association with EQUIDRY.
Working in partnership with British Eventing (BE), Horse & Country devised an eight-part series with each episode focusing on a different aspect of preparing your cob for the challenges of eventing. Subjects range from flatwork to boost your dressage score, through to preparing your cob for the ultimate challenge of cross country. There are also episodes on how to protect your cob’s legs and nutritional advice, produced in association with Woof Wear and Baileys respectively.
Once the series got the green light there was never any doubt about who the stars would be. The H&C team headed to Scotland to meet up with Morven and Mikey at the stunning Bogenraith Equestrian centre, set in the beautiful Aberdeenshire countryside. As we were filming in early January there was quite a nip in the air so the cast and crew were more than happy to have EQUIDRY, makers of the ultimate equestrian coat, as the series sponsor!
Featuring alongside Morven and Mikey are Josie Smith and her cob Gem who competed at their national championships last year, the NAF Five Star BE80 at Bramham. Helping the combinations to perform to their very best is Sarah Houlden, a BE Level 3 coach delivering BE’s national training programme, under The Howden Way umbrella, in Scotland. Completing the line-up is H&C favourite and five-star event rider Simon Grieve. As well as presenting the series, Simon gets to try eventing on a cob with willing partner Thor.
Jonathan Rippon, Director of Content for H&C commented, “We’re delighted to bring our members this series. Cobs are always a favourite with our viewers and, without giving away any spoilers, the series more than proves that cobs certainly can.”
On behalf of EQUIDRY, Managing Director Vicky Fiddes said, “There has never been a more important time for equestrian sport to focus on being inclusive, welcoming and accessible. This is exactly the message of Cobs Can Go Eventing and is why we at EQUIDRY are so proud to support it. Cobs and native breeds make the most wonderful pets and, as proven by the incredible stars of the programme; Mickey and Gem, are capable of being truly talented competitors. If you have a cob and a passion for eventing, be proud and get out there. EQUIDRY hope to be there to keep you warm and dry along the way.”
All eight episodes of Cobs Can Go Eventing will be available to watch exclusively on Horse & Country’s streaming service, H&C+ from March 7th. For non-members there is a Pay per View option. Annual membership of H&C+ is only £74.99 as a one-off payment, or there’s an option to pay in 12 monthly instalments of £7.99. Full details on how to join, as well as more information, can be found at www.horseandcountry.tv
If you’d like to event your cob, BE offer a progressive competition structure starting at 70cm across the winter season and from 80cm in the summer with their BE80 competitions. There are new member discounts for Pony Club and Riding Club members, and BE also have leagues across all grassroots categories that pay out performance bonuses every other month. There’s even a Newcomers league for those in their first two seasons.
BE also offer extensive top-class training via an academy network the length and breadth of the country. Public Liability cover is included within BE membership along with a host of other benefits. To find out more visit www.britisheventing