Well I can safely say the Bede Events Osborne House 2018 didn’t disappoint. Well worth the 4 am start and a delight from start to finish.
Osborne House 2018: Ferry Fun!
As the 4am alarm went off and I realised how dark it was I have say I did wonder what on earth I was doing. After some last-minute double checking I set off for Portsmouth and started to stress about the Ferry. I’ve never driven on a ferry before and I was unsure what to expect. The worst part was negotiating round Portsmouth and once I was at the terminal it was super simples. Tickets are checked and then you’re allocated a lane. You sit and wait, or in my case you do your makeup
! Then you’re called forward and guided into your space/. In my case I was squeezed onto the end and was very glad I’d taken my small car rather than Richards large one.
The crossing was brilliant fun. I accosted a fence judge, Julia, and we sat on the sun deck sipping our drinks and watching the sun glisten over the sea. It’s only a short trip and the skies were crystal clear. So, we could see Portsmouth behind us and the Isle of Wight in front of us. After a little while the captain let us know to return to our cars. Getting off was as easy as getting on and we simply drove off! Fantastic.
Osborne House 2018: Hello Boys
Osborne House was a mere 15 minutes from Fishbourne and again was really easy peasy. SO easy I was there at 7am! I trundled to the stables and said hello to Heather and the boys before catching up with the Braggs. Plenty of time for a cuppa and then to pop into the press office. The press room was nice and comfortable but I was bit scared to stay in there as it was in the historical Osborne House and there were lots of rules. I figured I’d be safer outside and to be honest I edit on the go anyways.
Dressage time came around and group A of the competition were in the ‘Cottage Arena’. This was a bit odd as they had advertised all the classes being on the Durbar Lawn in front of the house. Still for me I actually preferred it down there as there was some shade. Alex and Alcatraz did a lovely test and Alcatraz showed off some spectacular extended canter. The dressage test was specific for this event and was quite a bit shorter, which was actually quite nice.
Barrichello had the main arena for his dressage test and boy was it buzzy. The crowd were very close…..very close indeed. Frustratingly they had also barricaded around the arena, making it very difficult to get nice pictures. It’s the first year it’s run though and there will always be things that aren’t perfect.
Barrichello rather enjoyed being interviewed, it was his first run back since Tatts and he was rather hot. Still both the boys went into the jumping phases in competitive placings. The show jumping followed the dressage and the spectators were able to watch every phase as they followed one after the other. I walked the course with Alex and the course was tight. Anyone who thought this was going to be an easy few days were very wrong! Alex had his game face on and was focussed on the rather challenging job in hand. The course needed a steady in hand canter but the time was tight, eeekkkkkk!
Osborne House 2018: Jumping Beans
Alcatraz was up first, hardly any clear rounds had taken place. Sarah, the IOW resident rider had pulled one out of the bag as had a couple of others but most were getting time faults and/or a pole or two. Alcatraz was jumping his socks of went disaster struck. He veered left and poor Alex hit the wing with his leg. The plank swung and swung then as Alex was a stride away it fell. Gutting as Alcatraz jumped like a dream, he’s really starting to look and feel amazing. Such a shame and Alex’s face said it all.
Still no time to dwell, it was hectic pace for the day. Barrichello was next and I have to say I was a little worried. I mean he is a big horse and the course was short and tight. Barry must have read the instruction manual though as he popped round to put in a stunning clear. This was brilliant and left him 5thplace going into the cross country.
We had time for a tiny break and used this to get a video up on Facebook. Alex is great at doing these kinds of things and it would be awesome to do more of them. Bless him he got mobbed by kids wanting his autograph and even though he was mad busy with a blooming sore leg he took the time to sign and chat. Lots of photographs followed and then we had the call that the XC times had changed! Simmone is always there, in the back ground, ensuring it all runs to plan and Alex is able to rest and focus.
Osborne House 2018: XC Machines
No time to worry though. Heather, super groom, had it all under control. I left Alex to warm up and headed down to the cross country. The spot I had in mind for a cracking picture wasn’t working, there were too many people wandering around. Great for the event, not so great for me. Still I made a plan and found a spot that gave me a few jumps to choose from. The course was hilly, lots of undulations and some of the fences were pretty meaty, it was run at an intermediate level but there were questions and as a result some run outs and time penalties. Alcatraz was first again and he looked cracking at the start. There was small discussion in the water but all resolved and then he was on the home straight.
He looked tired at the end and I think it’s easy to forget that the day was run over just 6 hours. Meaning there wasn’t a huge amount of time for the horses and riders to refresh. In normal weather it probably wouldn’t have had much impact but it was so hot, 32 Degrees out on course. Still he got home safe and clear with just a couple of time penalties. Leaving him in 5thplace, that blooming plank was costly.
Osborne House 2018: Until Next Year
Still it’s not all about the placings, the long game and the experience is also important. Each run gets them fitter and teaches them something new so it’s all eyes on the next event. Barry was near the end of the day and as I sat there waiting I took in the surroundings. To the front of me was the sea, a stunning shade of blue. Behind me was Osborne House which looked glorious. The terrace was full and it looked breath-taking. It maybe even beat Barbury for the prettiest event. Never thought I’d say that! Barry flew over the second and galloped down the hill. Eating up the ground he stormed around the course. Making short work of a box fence and pinging over the skinnies, he’s such a pro. As he flew over the second to last he looked full of running. He was enjoying being back.
Final results came in and he got a very pleasing 3rd place. Fantastic for his first run since Tatts, which was a while ago now. Drinks on the terrace followed and we all basked in the sun enjoying the spectacular treat that is Osborne House. I was truly gutted to have to leave and get back to Kent, a pesky hospital appointment that I’d waited months for fell on the next day. The ferry back was just as magical and can’t wait to be back there next year. Osborne House you didn’t disappoint and what a fab first event.