Blenheim Palace Horse Trials 2018, last year I was only able to do a whistle stop tour of Blenheim due to commitments at the Nationals. I said to myself then though that I was going to make a trip of it in 2018 and thankfully the Nationals is this weekend coming! So I booked a hotel and made a plan.

Blenheim Palace Horse Trials 2018: The Early Bird

Friday nights are always a disaster travel wise and as I had an appointment (which the motorway managed to ruin) I decided an early start Saturday was the best way forward. Sure enough it only took me just over an hour to get there. Blooming brilliant all things considered. I was there nice and early to beat the crowds, something I often do and would highly recommend. Believe it or not though the car parks were already filling up. Briliant for all the organisers at Blenheim. 


Blenheim Palace Horse Trials 2018: Nippy Noodles

I’m not fully into this autumn things and keep travelling without a coat! Thankfully I’ve given up on the shorts but I’m ever hopeful for sun. Oh, my word it was blooming freezing, raiding the boot I ended up in a random ensemble of gillets and cardis, not quite the look I was going for. As I headed down the media tent I was a bit confused. I couldn’t see the palace anywhere? There was a very heavy fog or mist, how do you know which? Which meant the palace was invisible. I found my buddy, Katie Neat and together with Lorraine from The Bit and her mum we had a hysterical buggy trip up to the main arena. Seriously wish we had done a Facebook live at this point!

We all disembarked and still the palace wasn’t clear. This could prove a problem for our ideas of photographing the show jumping in front of the palace. The first few horses went and sure enough the palace had a weird white wash over it. Happily, by about 10am it had lifted completely, and we had the perfect spot. Photographing the main ring was tricky this year.

The layout/course didn’t quite work from a photography point of view and access to the main arena is closed down. Still with a bit of tag teaming with Katie we were able to get a few jumps. That is one of the great things about our friendship. We trust each other to support each other with our sponsored riders. No jealously or fighting from our corner.

Blenheim Palace Horse Trials 2018


Blenheim Palace Horse Trials 2018: Pretty as a Picture

The show jumping was brilliant to watch. The backdrop was also pretty spectacular. Once show jumping was finished it was time for some refreshments.

Blenheim Palace Horse Trials 2018

We found some yummy pastries, a little pricey at £3.50 per pastry but let’s just say I went back for a second on Sunday. Then there was a small break before the afternoon’s cross country. I headed to the attraction arena where I said hello to the Cow Pony and Chloe. There really is lots to see and do at Blenheim. Dog Agility demos and have a go yourself. Plus, other displays, such as a ‘Bit on the Side’. A side saddle display team. Chloe and the Cow Pony are part of the display and since we met at Windsor we’ve been trying to meet up. The display was great, and the arena was packed! The commentary was hysterical and very dry witted. Really good fun and it was fascinating watching and hearing about the history behind the costumes.


Blenheim Palace Horse Trials 2018: Cow Pony Corkscrew

The finale was the Cow Pony and his pal jumping upsides at the end. Clearly the Cow Pony had been working on his finale all week and by this point he had perfected the ‘Cow Pony Corkscrew’. A pretty impressive buck with an added twist just be sure. Luckily Chloe has had an excellent seat and was able to sit to them. I did think for a Nano-second that she was about to hit the deck, but she sat it out. Naughty Cow Pony!


The cow Pony


After all the fun and games, it was cross country time. It was really nice that there wasn’t loads of overlap with the phases and everyone was able to see everything. The Cross country also runs alongside the shopping so lots of chances to see the action. I do love the Cross country, it’s easily one of my favourite phases to photograph and Team Bragg had some class performances. The sun was out by this point and it was a thoroughly pleasant afternoon enjoying the action


Cross Country at Blenheim


Eventually I’d seen what I came to see and headed off on my next adventure of the day, Bicester Village! More about that and day two in the next part of the blog.