Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials 2015

Hello Hannah here, the newest addition to team EP.

Presenting from the Trot-Up

Presenting from the Trot-Up

Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials 2015, where to start !?

Equine Productions was approached by BrandRapport (BR), the company behind much of the social media at Burghley. One of their members of staff saw our videos and really wanted us to apply for the YouTube channel videos for this year’s Burghley. 

Having originated more in the world of racing, my EP colleagues, Sam and Nathan, knew that I was the woman for the job. Being a home grown Leicestershire lass, Burghley has been my stomping ground since the year dot! So we devised a plan of attack for the YouTube channel. “Han, if we are going to do this, we need to do it really well as this could open up the world of eventing etc for us” ….. OK no pressure! But I knew we could do it with the fantastic team we had lined up.

Burghley House - a shot taken from our aerial filming day

Burghley House - a shot taken from our aerial filming day

Sitting down to think about what Burghley meant to me, it became apparent that this YouTube channel had the potential to be awesome, providing that it was fun, quirky and a little bit different from the pomp and ceremony that is stereotypically associated with all equestrian events. But where to start, there is SO much to see! And therein lay the answer, let’s show the things we don’t usually see. Several of the videos took inspiration from just that - Burghley From A Box, the faces behind the legendary voices, A Judge’s View, the characters behind the whistles and stop watches, A Groom’s View, the shear adoration the grooms at Burghley have towards their talented steeds … I could go on!

Anyway, in the lead up to Burghley there were many phone calls back and forth between EP and BR, fine tuning and really nailing down the plan for each video. The old saying, ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’, haunted me in the run up to Burghley. Everything looked fantastic on paper but as they say - never work with animals or children - anything could happen! And it did on a couple of occasions… 

The fantastic judge and stewards at fence 17 - The Maltings

The fantastic judge and stewards at fence 17 - The Maltings

Burghley From A Box - turned out to be a little ambiguous. When the crew and I turned up on the morning to catch Richard Taylor and Adrian Dant open Burghley 2015, they were in a tent not a box! Don’t panic Hannah, there must be an explanation. After being enraptured by the infamous tones of Richard’s voice explaining that they commentate from all over the place during Burghley and only on the Sunday do they actually go into the traditional commentary box for the Showjumping. With no other option, we pressed on with the filming and I think the result is great. https://youtu.be/-v_PL8jSv2w

The faces behind the voices of Burghley Horse Trials

The faces behind the voices of Burghley Horse Trials

I had several different riders lined up for the the Dubarry Burghley Young Event horse, one had got colic (the horse, not the rider) and was withdrawn, another horse was sold with the DBYEH ride, then on the Friday morning as I was having my Weetabix (other brands are available) I had a feeling that something was going to go wrong that day. Low and behold I rang Sarah Bullimore, who we were due to follow, and she informed me that the DBYEH class clashed with her competing in the four star. All was not lost as Sarah informed me that she had roped in Ginny Turnbull to take the ride on her stunning but rather sharp chestnut. Phew! Having grown-up in the village next door to Ginny I luckily had a few contacts who I could call on. After speaking with Ginny, everything for “Up & Coming” video was back on track. https://youtu.be/cLNM8-Hsrdo

Interviewing the lovely Ginny Turnbull

Interviewing the lovely Ginny Turnbull

When asked, which is my favourite video from the week, it’s tough to say as they all have their own wonderful imagery, catchy soundtracks, which I spent hours choosing, I have an affiliation and love for every video. But for me, the Groom’s View has to be the one. Cross Country Saturday is always the most manic of the four days at Burghley and we had promised three videos that day as well as the press conferences, the best round and a last minute addition of the RiderCam https://youtu.be/RZzQ3o9AYXg?list=PL-ZxRLiRl39Bsg08ZfY6LjWew8GBs_24I. I had blocked out from 1pm until 3:30pm for myself and our fantastic camera operator Adam to follow Charlie Walker, William Fox-Pitt’s groom. Adam and I met Charlie and Fernhill Pimms at the stables. I was in awe of Charlie’s cool, calm and collected character. Her manner around Fernhill Pimms AKA Fernie made filming her such a pleasure, Fernie was a chilled out dude - not what you’d expect for a horse who in 40 minutes time would be flying around Cpt Mark Philips’ beefy cross country course. 

Charlie in action getting the ice boots ready for Fernhill's return

Charlie in action getting the ice boots ready for Fernhill's return

As the starter counted William down, my heart was pounding, I can only imagine how Charlie must have felt. As William left the start box we ran over to the rider’s marquee where there are five TV screens showing every rider at every fence. Charlie’s reactions as her ‘baby’ flew around the Burghley course was just wonderful, I had goose bumps watching her, thinking this is brilliant! Riding high on the elation of potential TV gold, the legendary voice I had interviewed earlier in the week came echoing over the tannoy. William Fox Pitt has gone past the B element at the Discovery Valley. My heart thudded as it hit the bottom of my belly. Nudging Adam to keep filming Charlie. The toils of being a producer, the selfishness of wanting to capture the raw emotion of someone, when all they really want is to push the camera away. 

Dismay as William misses out a fence

Dismay as William misses out a fence

After several minutes of waiting, Richard delivered the news we had all been waiting for - William had not been penalised at fence 24, he didn’t cross his tracks. Euphoria swiftly turned into frenzied action as William crossed the finish line. Fernie had come back in fine fettle but as all horses do after galloping around Burghley, he was hot. Charlie and her team went into over drive with buckets upon buckets of ice cold water. Visually it was a dream; nostrils flared, ears pricked, a network of veins standing proud across Fern’s entire body, steam rising from his glossy bay coat, droplets tumbling from his toned flanks. Enraptured by this and with my idol Clare Balding behind interviewing one of the world’s best event riders - I was in heaven. My brain greedily absorbing the events flashing past my eyes, every now and again regaining composure to check my cameraman was safe.

Clare Balding interviewing William Fox-Pitt 

Clare Balding interviewing William Fox-Pitt 

Within minutes, it was all over. Charlie causally walked Fernie back to his box, William had gone off to be interviewed by the throbbing hoards of press, desperate to interrogate him on his ‘slip up’ at fence 24 b. And there was me.

Taking the footage back to our cabin, I hoped that what we had captured could do Charlie and Fernie justice and I really think it does. https://youtu.be/rqIP86c2PEE

The final morning - Richard Jefferies and Cpt Mark Philips striding out the showjumping course

The final morning - Richard Jefferies and Cpt Mark Philips striding out the showjumping course

After the most incredible five days at the Land Rover Burghley 2015 Horse Trials, I’d like to thank my ‘Dream Team’ for delivering what has been reported as the best YouTube videos Burghley has ever had. Our videos were played out to the thousands of people who attended Burghley on the big screens, the BBC used a substantial amount of footage from the RiderCam on William Fox-Pitt’s cross country round as well as our fantastic aerial footage from our course previews https://youtu.be/XQm1n5nxHDo?list=PL-ZxRLiRl39Bsg08ZfY6LjWew8GBs_24I. Equine Productions has really made an impression on the eventing world. I am so proud of what we achieved. EP is a seriously exciting place to be right now and I can’t wait for what’s next - watch this space!

William Fox-Pitt wearing the RiderCam

William Fox-Pitt wearing the RiderCam

For all the YouTube videos produced during this year’s Burghley click the link below https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpJWloFKan6b5LSq4UVZ8bg