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Wow… can you believe that Burghley is just a few weeks away? We are so, so excited to be have a trade stand at this year’s event, as usual, but we’re also sponsoring a part of the event. As per last year, we are sponsoring the best dressed at the Horsequest sponsored Burghley Horse Trials trot up. And we’re not just sponsoring it, our King of the Road is heading up the judging panel too!
What’s a trot up?
For anyone who’s not into eventing, the trot up happens at the very start of big events and on the morning of the last day (before showjumping). The idea behind both of these ’stages’ is to make sure the horse is fit and sound to compete or carry on (in the case of the final trot up the morning after cross country). Both trot ups are serious; a horse can end its event before it even steps a foot in the dressage arena if it fails the trot up. Each horse trots up and down a straight path and is assessed by vets to see if it is fit for competition. If there’s any query or concern, the horse is usually held and then represented.
But the trot up has evolved a little…
First and foremost, a trot up at a horse trials is to check for soundness. But it’s evolved a little over the years. Now, the trot up is also an equestrian fashion show in one form or another with many of the riders putting a lot of care and attention into what they wear.
Riders do make a huge effort for both trot ups, but the first one tends to be more impressive because everyone is fresh and full of excitement. Inevitably not every horse and rider combination will make it through to the final trot up due to tumbles, retiring on course, or having not recovered well after cross country. We also feel that the second trot up is a lot more serious because the horses have just endured an incredibly tough test and the grooms and vets will have been working very, very hard to make sure the horse has recovered well. The riders are no doubt exhausted and pretty nervous too. Through sponsoring the best dressed, we never want to detract from the importance of what’s going on, but we absolutely love seeing what the riders are wearing…
How does the best dressed work?
At Burghley, our King of the Road, Andrew Ransford, will be judging alongside two judges that we’re yet to announce. Each rider will trot up the horse as normal and the team will make notes about what they’re wearing and how it fits the theme. For this year, the chosen theme is ‘touch of flair’. The thing is, we’re a very practical bunch at Hiho, so although we love seeing people in gorgeous outfits, they HAVE to be practical and support the job in hand. Otherwise, what is the point? We’ve seen some superb trot up outfits this season and we can not wait to judge this year’s event. See you there!