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Chatsworth Horse Trials

Cantering with 4 horses at once, upright, barebackYou don’t have to be competing to enjoy the Horse Trials at Chatsworth, which take place in May every year; you don’t even have to be horsey although it probably helps.

There was a lot to watch but one impressive thing for us was a man riding four at once, bareback – see the photo. His name is Jean Francois Pignon, a French ‘horse whisperer’ who attracted great and admiring crowds; people were pretty impressed with his horses too, who seemed to know by instinct or empathy rather than shouted instructions. In my ignorance I had never heard of him but he seems to be well  known for his amazing understanding of horses, and goes around  the world giving demonstrations and teaching

We went to the Trials yesterday and are going again tomorrow. We were only too delighted to go, but the official reason was because we are part of a large team of cheerfully willing friends and supporters of the DRCS (Derwent Rural Counselling Service) who have a stand there this year, as Chatsworth’s charity of choice for the event. For those who may have missed any previous explanations about the DRCS, it is a truly remarkable local (Bakewell-based) charity that provides professional counselling help to anyone, young or old, that asks for it and for whom it is going to be the appropriate help (otherwise DRCS would know and suggest a more relevant source).

DRCS was nominated their charity of choice by ChatsworthFriday is a more low-key day and it was relatively quiet; the weather was changeable and pretty windy and cold if one was essentially sitting still – probably quite warm on horseback… Fortunately there were three of us on duty at any one time so nearly always one of us was able to shoot off to watch the events and look at some of the other stalls.

We were stationed near the main ring which was good, next to a wonderful stall selling homemade fudge which was less good – in fact a serious and totally irresistible temptation that we only managed to resist for a very short while.

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