Monday, 5 May 2014
Badminton Horse Trials
Hip Flask and Sunglasses
I'm sure a good few of you will be at the Badminton Horse Trials this week. Some of our friends will be at the Shopping Village, such as Brocklehursts and Timothy Foxx. Badminton always has a very convivial atmosphere. If you've never been, do try it. Take a hip flask, a field coat, sunglasses — the weather could go any way.
According to Horse & Hound, William Fox-Pitt (above) and Andrew Nicholson appear to be joint favourites. Good luck to them both, and to all competitors.
Boots on the Ground
I was going to recommend Wellington boots for visitors, as it's always worth taking a pair. This is a difficult task. Hunter Boot, as you'll know, now manufactures in China, and I believe they no longer do the latex dipping process that gave their boots that sleekness. I cherish my Scottish-made Hunter boots, and will continue to have the soles mended until a new British manufacturer of the Wellington boot steps forward, this being the home of the Wellington boot after all. (Reader's voice: "You might have a long wait, Tweedy."). I'm sure my courageous stance will help shake up the British Wellington boot industry. (Note also that Dubarry of Ireland no longer manufacture in Ireland.)
Boots on Horseback
Finding boots for riders is easier. Our friends at Foster & Son can make you a pair of bespoke hunting or field boots. I enjoyed reading about the process of preparing the Black Waxed Calf Hunting Boot (top). The bootmaker works with the hide inside out, so the rougher inside of the leather is outside. To quote: "The rough surface of the leather is smoothed down by a series of applications of polish using a deer bone against the support of the boot tree to bring it up to a high shine." A fine-looking boot.
Relatedly, I saw a chap of good age in town wearing a pair of brown hunting boots and a fedora the other day — a strong look.
The Badminton Trial Course
Giuseppe Della Chiesa has designed the trial course this year. Here he is talking about it to Hugh Thomas, the director at Badminton.