David Britnell, 5* Event Rider & BHS Accredited Coach (BHSII) has been speaking to us about how his dreams to ride at Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials came true, his journey to that point and what we can expect from him in the future.
You first rode here in the Eventer Challenge as a pony club member, can you tell us a little about what that was like?
I first rode here in 2010 on “Oh Boy” a Hanoverian, Arab X TB . It was a very exciting experience to be competing on the same show ground as some of the best event riders in the world. The competition is always very competitive and has great camaraderie between all the riders.
Tell us about why getting to ride in the 4* at Blenheim International Horse Trials was such a goal of yours.
Every year that I competed in the eventer challenge, I would walk the 4* course and watch it running which inspired me and spurred me to keep on improving and hopefully one day ride at Blenheim myself. I would always say to my mum “I want to be here next year” and she would always say “you will be when you’re ready son”.
How does it feel to have competed here at both grassroots and 4* level?
It is a childhood dream come true. Pony Club has been the grounding to my career as an event rider. The tuition and progressing through my exams all the way to my A test has really given me a great foundation to progress in the equestrian world.
You’re joining the commentary team for the Eventer Challenge, what are you most looking forward to seeing?
I am most looking forward to catching up with friends and clients and praising and encouraging sympathetic and good riding within the competition.
Do you have any advice/words of wisdom for anyone competing for the first time in the Eventer Challenge this year?
Give yourself plenty of time to walk the course, stick to your system and utilise the excitement the environment provides within your horse’s way of going.