My Journey to Bramham – part 3

With just a few months to go until the NAF Five Star BE80 Championships at Bramham International Horse Trials, we caught up with intrepid qualified riders to find out how they are preparing for this year’s event.

If you have qualified for this year’s Championship, taking place on 6-8 June, don’t miss your chance to join the fun – entries open on 29th April.

Ian Barnard and Talbot Tom
Ian Barnard (59) and his 15-year-old Irish gelding Talbot Tom are looking forward to competing at their first ever championship event – the NAF 5* BE80 Championships at Bramham International Horse Trials in June. Ian tells us how he and Tom are preparing for the championships.

“I have never qualified for any championship before,” said Ian. “When I first started competing at BE80 level, I wasn’t aware that there was a championship, but after getting placed at an event, my daughter Ellie suggested that I should try and qualify for Bramham. Previously, Ellie has qualified for the Badminton Grassroot championship, which she really enjoyed, so we both thought it would be a good experience for me to try and get to Bramham. Fortunately, my trip to Blindley Heath was successful and we managed to qualify for the event.

“In preparation, Tom and I have been increasing our number of schooling sessions to try and improve our dressage, much to Tom’s dismay – he is much keener on fun hacking, especially when the fields are dry and we can get some more canter work completed.

“I am lucky that Ellie is a good instructor. As well as getting a large amount of free help, she has also volunteered to act as my groom for the Championship. I suspect there aren’t too many competitors for this year’s event who are getting help from their children in their preparation – it’s usually the other way round – but hopefully it will be a good family break.

“Looking at last year’s results, it seems that, had I competed in the championships, I would have been in a minority of one (being a male). So, whilst winning the championship may be a dream, but realistically extremely unlikely, I do at least have a much better chance of being top placed male. Whilst this isn’t actually part of the competition, it gives me something to aim for.

“I am planning to get at least two more runs in before Bramham. I am also hoping to see a reduction in the size of my dressage scores. I am however massively looking forward to the event and suspect that the weeks until we set off for Yorkshire will fly by.”

More information about the Championship can be found here –

Image supplied by Jay Photos

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