Chatsworth International Horse Trials

One of my favourite events to photograph is the International Horse Trials. There are a number of events around the country but the setting doesn’t get much more spectacular than the magnificent Chatsworth House in Derbyshire.

This year we managed the full three day event and really got chance to soak up the atmosphere. The event attracts top riders from around the world as well as the top horses. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many beautiful horses in one place at once.

The organisation is mind-blowing and you can’t fail to be impressed with the scale of things. Hundreds of temporary stables are erected for the horses and there are many more hundreds of horse boxes that come in for specific events. There are also hundreds of shops selling everything from clothes to artworks – in fact you could spend three days shopping if you wished!

The photographs below are a small selection of images from the weekend’s events.  The featured image above is Zara Tindall, the Queen’s granddaughter who had the kind of show jumping round she will probably want to forget. She later withdrew from the cross country altogether.

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British Scurry & Trials Driving at Chatsworth

One of the most exciting events of the Chatsworth International Horse Trials weekend is the scurry Driving. It involves ponies of various sizes pulling a four wheeled cart around a course with various obstacles.

They race against the clock and it’s surprising how close the race is between the smaller, more mobile units and the large more powerful ones.

It’s the type of event that  gets the crowd involved and I’m sure these competitors will be entertaining crowds at events around the country in the months ahead.  Here are a few photos…

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48 hours in Buxton

The Derbyshire Peak District is a favourite among those that like the great outdoors.   We  stopped on the outskirts of Buxton at Grin Low and Buxton Country Park. Buxton itself is a spa town famous, among other things, for its bottled water.  It’s a great place to spend a couple of days.

Buxton owes a lot to the Devonshire/Cavendish family, owners of the nearby Chatsworth estate. Everywhere you go in the town you can see their influence. The fifth Duke of Devonshire had the idea to create a town to rival Bath – Buxton even has its own curved Georgian terrace, which is currently being converted to a luxury hotel.

One of the highlights of our stay was a visit to an old book shop. I know, doesn’t sound particularly exciting does it? This however, is a book shop that is made for exploring and it has become a popular destination among bibliophiles. They have 40,000 books across five floors with plenty of curiosities along the way.

Another favourite spot for me, photographically speaking was Grin Low and Buxton country park. Here there are plenty of walks and views including, Solomon’s Tower which features in a couple of photos below.

There is also plenty of architecture of interest in Buxton from the Devonshire dome to an unusual Victorian Postbox.

Here are a few photos from Buxton…

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The Devonshire Dome on the University Campus

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Solomon’s Tower

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The Old Hotel housed the captive Mary Queen of Scots

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Inside Scrivener’s book shop

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On the moors

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Victorian Postbox

Clown puppet inside Scrivener's Book Shop in Buxton

Clown puppet inside Scrivener’s Book Shop in Buxton