HORSE trials are a test of both horse and rider, a competition to show the obedience, ability and stamina of the horse and the control, skill and knowledge of the rider.
And at the Iping Horse Trials held at the end of July, more than 500 riders entered the various levels of competition, from the simplest at 80cm height jumps to the intermediate novice at 1.20metres.
There were also six different dressage tests and four separate show-jumping and cross-country courses were set up and marked out for the competitors on one of the hottest days of the year, with very few making the cross county within the time limit.
Iping has a very interesting course, designed by the landowner Daphne Lakin which is hilly, making it far harder to judge speed.
River crossings, a jump with a scarecrow drinking at it, dolls’ houses, drops, zigzags, stone walls and drops into darker hills all kept horse and rider on their toes.
In many of the sections no-one managed the time, but one who did on both her rides was Southerly Roberts who won the intermediate novice on her own horse Tinx, and was placed in the BE100 on Lucy Goddard’s Lexi despite a controversial refusal.
Time penalties went into double figures in many cases.
“A host of volunteers helped throughout the day stewarding, judging dressage, show jumping and individual cross country jumps, scoring, catering and much more,” said a spokesman for the organisers. “Thanks must go to them, the sponsors and the land owners for enabling the event to take place.”