The social media build up to the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials first horse inspection was remarkably quiet, and noticeably without the presence of our beloved rider… Mr Cool himself… Ben Hobday. With very changeable weather and grey clouds on the horizon many riders opted for more Autumnal wear, save getting drenched in summer weight dresses and jogging in soggy feathered fascinators.
For the ladies lightweight coats were the order of the day, with classic fitted knee length styles proving to be very popular and so wearable with trousers and boots or flats. Lynn Symansky and Georgie Spence chose this style with an injection of colour that offset against their horses in exactly the right manner. Georgie was later named ‘best dressed’ female rider and, as usual, was classically turned out with a beautiful powder blue coat, with gold buttons and braiding. A very feminine take on a military look which offset her blonde hair and looked decidedly fresh. Georgie always nails trot up fashion so well. The right side of smart and always impeccably tidy, a well-deserved win.
Many riders brightened up the day with their choice of colour which was blocky and bold. It was refreshing to see riders choosing colour which accentuated their horses and although looks were simple it appears many are really considering what to wear for these now very public occasions.
On the male front looks were classic through and through. Andrew Hoy won the ‘best dressed’ male award. At face value wearing a simple, well fitted navy suit but with a contrasting tie, handkerchief and dazzling baby blue suede shoes, his look was considered and slick.
Speaking of slick we could not do a trot up report without mentioning Paul Tapner. Moving from his preppy look at Badminton this spring to that of a rock star for Burghley! With Tapperz it’s not about the clothes he wears, but about how he wears them. Not many riders could pull off jeans at a 4* but he did just that. This new school eventing with a little bit of attitude and it was great to see some personality alongside the generic suits.
Wardrobe malfunctions were kept to a minimum, apart from the moment where Mr Jung discovered he
had forgotten to zip up his trousers… the stuff of nightmares and almost as bad as ‘entering A’ and discovering you are flashing your very best underwear. Taking the ‘incident’ in good humour Jung passed the first trial with flying colours.
A total of 73 horses were presented to the ground jury and all passed, with two being held in the starting box, but later accepted and four being asked to trot twice before being accepted.
The first horse into the dressage arena will be Oliver Townend on the first of his three rides, Dromgurrihy Blue, at 9.30am tomorrow morning.
Photography by HR
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