At Barbury eight champion riders take a step back to the fun of pony club days - in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund
Day three of the St James's Place Barbury International Horse Trials attracted a huge crowd to the Marlborough Downs to see some world class dressage tests, tricky cross country and exacting show jumping - and also some very entertaining riding in the JCB Champions Challenge.
This featured eight plucky celebrity riders in a lighhearted but furiously ridden contest in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund.
This was its third running - it's reached the status of a tradition at Barbury. Held in the main ring, the event follows the finals of the Inter Hunt Relay - and the two celebrity teams, jockeys and eventers, borrow horses or ponies from the finalists.
The jump jockeys were led by Champion Jockey Richard Johnson, with veteran Tom Scudamore and two jockeys who ride for local Barbury trainer Alan King: Wyane Hutchinson and Tom Bellamy.
The eventers' team was led by Sir Mark Todd (Badgerstown based) with New Zealand Olympic squad colleagues Jonelle and Tim Price (Mindal.)
Also from 'down under', their fourth member was Australia's Paul Tapner (Highworth) - who won Badminton in 2010. The Australians have yet to announce their eventing squad for Rio.
The challenge involves jumps, a splash through the main arena's pond and, as the relay progresses, the handover of a riding crop. The jockeys seemed most at home with the water splash - after all eventers try their hardest to avoid such watery obstacles.
But early on and for a vital moment the jockeys lost the relay plot altogether - they sort of forgot all about the handing over part. So they were soon some way behind the eventers who may well have been practising handovers for several weeks!
Last man for the eventers was Sir Mark and as he probably could not even see the nearest jockey, he made a magisterial advance through the water - to win.
The third day of Barbury saw the first discipline of the Event Rider Masters (ERM) competition - and the first television coverage. This is the third leg of a seven-part contest spread over the eventing season featuring the top forty riders in the world who are available for each leg. It offers much improved prize money and television coverage streamed live.
Fronting the ERM TV coverage is Alice Plunkett (Mrs William Fox-Pitt) who is one of the people behind ERM and is widely known for her work with Channel 4 Racing.
On Saturday's evidence, the coverage is excellent - they have eighteen cameras in all with ten covering the cross country course. And these are topped up with a number of GoPro cameras, a drone and a big jib camera in the main arena.
Sunday's events - including the show jumping and cross country stage and the F1 style prize-giving - can be seen at www.eventridermasters.tv
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