This year’s Osberton International Horse Trials played host to a national driving event for the very first time.
Following the huge success of a test driving trials in 2019, the team at organiser’s BEDE Events pulled out all the stops to bring top-level sport to the Osberton Estate in Nottinghamshire.
Sponsored by Bennington Carriages the competition was one of just five national events planned for the year.
With the magnificent backdrop of the Osberton Estate the marathon course included an exciting new water complex which was a big hit with competitors.
Winner of the Horse Fours, Karen Bassett said: “The venue was just fantastic, it was a really great event and I would definitely hope to be back next year. It was wonderful competing alongside the horse trials and the atmosphere was electric at times.”
Karen started in second place after the dressage, moved up to first in the cones and then pulled off a great marathon section to stay out in front with George Bowman IV taking second place and Chris Manger third.
The Horse Fours was very well represented with six teams starting out in a bid to take the top awards.
Guildford-based Dick Lane was another to relish the opportunity to compete alongside the leading event riders in the country when winning the Advanced Horse Pairs.
Said Dick: “I was very pleased to be in the lead after the dressage, the horses are not used to competing in an arena with lots of spectators and trade stands at the side so it really was a challenging environment for them.
“The cones was quite a tricky course, well designed and competitive and was a good warm-up for the third day.
“The marathon was absolutely super with excellent ground conditions and the event just gets better and better.”
Added winner of the Advanced Single Horse, Carol Boswell: “It is an absolutely fantastic venue and so worth the trip and effort to travel from Scotland.
Carol drove her nine-year-old welsh cob cross, Percy and she was delighted to win from a seven-strong entry.
“He is such a star and a real character, I have been driving him for four years but he is a real allrounder, that I ride as well. We led after the dressage, but in the cones I had a senior moment and galloped past number two and had to go back, then we just flew in the marathon it was great.”
Carol first competed at the Osberton venue in 1979, when they won the first horse tandem combined driving event so she was delighted to be back.
Said Stuart Buntine of organiser BEDE Events: “It was brilliant having the Bennington Carriages Driving Trials at Osberton International and without doubt it added another dimension to the event.
“We have had fantastic and very positive feedback and really feeling the carriage driving will develop year on year.”
Added Sue Mart of Bennington Carriages: “It was wonderful to be back at Osberton after our test event in 2019 and to see so many competitors was just great. We had the opportunity to talk to a lot of the event riders and people new to the sport and the trade stand was very busy.
“We are looking to build on this year and want to attract the very best drivers to come along and take part.
“The competition provided a great end to the season and everyone was in a fantastic party spirit while also competing hard to win.”
All class winners:
Novice Pony - Lyn Chorlton
Novice Horse - Jack Brooks
Intermediate Pony - Sally Bullar
Open Single Pony - Susan Don
Advanced Single Pony - Lucinda Scott
Open Pony Pairs - Wendy Wadsworth
Pony Tandems - David Taylor
Pony Fours - Angela Smith
Open Single Horse - Vicky Irwin
Advanced Single Horse - Carol Boswell
Open Horse Pairs - Angela Flanagan
Advanced Horse Pairs - Dick Lane
Horse Fours - Karen Bassett