Bitless and bareback at the Isle of Wight ‘Grand National’

The Island hosts its own ‘Grand National’ as part of the Isle of Wight Scurry 1 day event which involves a number of very brave jockeys hurtling twice around a course. When I say ‘course’ I mean a number of fields conjoined on a not so even surface, giving the horse and rider a number of choices of what path will offer the least resistance!

This year the event fell on Mother’s Day and we were determined to do the Scurry in style so having picked up some essentials in the village shop (champagne and beer) we set about making the food. Homemade sausage rolls were decided upon with special herbs and spices going into the mix. Bags packed, children dressed inappropriately for the weather and our 4×4 waiting to travel to a ‘horse meet’, we loaded up only realising half way down the road I had left the rolls in the Aga!

Quick u turn and we were off once again to be amazed by the speed and skill of the competing jockeys. We met up with the rest of our group at the perfect spot – opposite the equivalent of the infamous fence. It’s not as big but seems to have the same effect on the horses!

The highlight this year was an entry by Haddon Frost and Templer who not only went bitless but also went bareback! 2.1/4 miles over 19 fences and Templer led until the last fence only just missing out on first place. An amazing achievement and true display of horsemanship from Haddon who was raising money for Oxfords Children hospital.

Watch their daredevil ride here https://www.facebook.com/grovefarmequestrian/videos/1496206657056523/

The Grand National is the finale of the Scurry and a fantastic race it was! I have only ever been to one other horse racing event in my life and that occurs every Boxing day in Stanley down in the Falkland Islands – I am glad to say the food, racing and atmosphere were not as bizarre as that experience!

Bring on next year where we plan to have a butler and serving maids!

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