Top 10 viewed cross country videos of 2020 | An Eventful Life

Top 10 viewed cross country videos of 2020

Once again, we’re counting down our Top 10 Most Viewed XC Videos

to see which horses and riders were the most popular to watch in 2020

In 2016, the first year that we introduced our Cross Country Search Box, enabling people to search and view videos by horse or rider name, we started tracking which were most viewed videos on our website.



In that year, one of the biggest names in the sport came out on top with William Fox-Pitt riding Parklane Hawk at the Barefoot Estates Burnham Market International in April 2016 as the most watched video. This was William’s first ride back in competition after a life-threatening fall at Le Lion d’Angers in October 2015 and everyone was thrilled to see him back in the saddle

The results have shown pretty clearly over the past few years that amateur riders often feature at the top of the XC Videos shown on our website and in 2019 we introduced two sets of Top 10; the most viewed cross country videos on our website and also the most viewed cross country videos on our Facebook page as both are very popular!

The main difference is of course that we choose which cross country videos are shown on our Facebook page (and are usually winners of events) whereas the videos on our website are those purchased by riders

Although our stats are based on views only during 2020, last year six of the videos were from previous years with three from 2017 and three from 2018; we find that many people are buying their videos years after they were filmed, possibly as mementoes or if they are selling their horse

So, we are now revealing our website and Facebook Top 10 viewed videos in 2020 in reverse order and let's see how things panned out in this very unusual year!


Number 1

Website - Harriet Beeby Wynn

2020 was certainly the year of the pony in our website viewing stats. Several of the smaller (and invariably speedier) horses have featured in this countdown and the Number One is no exception with Harriet Beeby Wynn riding the 14.2hh pony Wilma Bobby taking the top spot

Harriet and Wilma Bobby absolutely flew around the Open Novice U18 at Keysoe (3) 2019 to finish in 13th place, which certainly was not unlucky for them! It seems they also had a passenger on board having the ride of their life ….



Facebook - Andrew Hoy

On our Facebook viewing stats, Australia’s seven-time-Olympian Andrew Hoy absolutely smashed it out of the ballpark to take the Number One spot of Most Viewed videos

But if you think that Andrew’s ride was around some huge course on an experienced horse, think again. Andrew was piloting the eye-catching Hasenacher Balou Couleur around the BE90 at Warwick Hall (X) 2020 and viewers just loved it, with nearly 50,000 views so far (by comparison, our Number One on Facebook in 2019 was Pippa Funnell’s winning 5* ride around Burghley with 17,000 views) and a reach of over 200,000

Hasenacher Balou Couleur (Balou), who finished second in the BE90 Open at Warwick Hall (X) joined Andrew’s team in February 2018 and he unites two fabulous show jumping lines with the legendary sire Balou du Rouet and, through his dam Glenara Mudslide, the very well-known Australian coloured stallion Copabella Visage.

Balou served in Australia as an approved stallion but is now gelded and enjoying his eventing career with Andrew in the UK.

The video is a Masterclass in riding at this level and Balou is guaranteed to put some colour in your day (and look out for the very cute leap into the water!) – watch the full video on our Facebook page HERE  




Number 2

Website - Emily Gresty

The weather conditions at Hartpury International 2019 were very trying for both the horses and riders. Even the 4* winner, Piggy March admitted “the rain was just straight on with the wind and I said (to my horse) as we galloped to Fence 4 ‘I hope you can see something because I can see nothing!’”

But that didn’t seem to stop another Northamptonshire-based rider and our Number 2 Most Viewed combination on the website in 2020, Emily Gresty on Sporty Patch who were competing in the CCI2*-L and finished 38th

The video was a little weather affected (or, as we say, those diamond droplets are just special effects added by the weather gods!) but you can still see what a cracking ride that Emily and the 14.2hh coloured pony had at their first 2* start together



Facebook - Shirley Cadwallader

It comes as no surprise to us that our Number 2 Most Viewed video on Facebook in 2020, despite only being uploaded in late October, was Shirley Cadwallader on The Sauce Pot at Kelsall Hill (2) 2020

70-year-old Shirley Cadwallader inspired many by not only winning the BE80T Regional Final riding The Sauce Pot at Kelsall Hill (2) but they then went on finish as Reserve Champion in the British Eventing BE80 Championship, which was to be held at Burghley but was moved to Norton Disney in October

Shirley was riding the homebred seven-year-old mare The Sauce Pot and our article Never Stop: Age is just a Number in Eventing featuring Shirley and Ian Stark also proved very popular

You can watch the full video of Shirley and The Sauce Pot and see all the wonderful comments it attracted on our Facebook page HERE




Number 3

Website - Mollie Williamson

Mollie Williamson and the 15hh Cool Choice occupy the Number 3 spot on our website stats with this ride at Burnham Market (2) in 2019 where they finished 23rd in the BE100

Sadly, we know very little about Mollie or Cool Choice, but they are obviously a popular pair! And we love the fact that Mollie and the World Number One are in the same league!




Facebook - Oliver Townend

On the other hand, the Number 3 on our Facebook stats is a very well-known combination. In 2019 and 2020, World Number One Oliver Townend won the CCI4*-S at Burnham Market International riding the stunning black gelding Cillnabradden Evo

It was, remarkably, Oliver’s 13th consecutive 4*-S win at Burnham Market but it was to be his last on Cillnabradden Evo, who was retired after the win

“He owes us nothing and has punched above his weight for years,” said Oliver. “It's great to end his career with another good win.”

Cillnabradden Evo cruised round the course, Oliver undoubtedly conscious that he had time in hand and they literally cantered over the finish line, adding two time penalties to their dressage score for the win. Watch the full ride on our Facebook page HERE




Number 4

Website - Imogen Murray


   THE photo that had everyone asking "What happened next?"


One of Libby Law’s fabulous images in our photo galleries of Imogen Murray on Quinquaginta at Houghton International 2019 prompted everyone to ask “What happened next?”

So, of course we obliged by showing the video and Imogen’s ride in the CCI3*-L had people equally captivated, putting her into fourth place of our website stats countdown

Now you can see what happened next too!



Facebook - Mike D’Agostino


We have the first (will it be the only?) Australian rider in the Top 10 with the popular and flamboyant Western Australian rider Mike D’Agostino and Kinnordy Gatow making in at Number 4 with their ride at the Australian International 3DE in 2019

It was their first CCI5* start and Mike had promised to show his signature ‘salute’ which he did in fine style at the water complex, delighting the crowds and making his ride a memorable one, even in 2020!

You can watch their full ride in Adelaide on our Facebook page HERE




Number 5

Website - Hannah Craft

It may be apt that, as the UK heads back into lockdown in 2021, a video that was published as part of an article during the first lockdown in May 2020 should be in the Top 5

“Lockdown has given me the headspace to start to critically look back at elements of my riding that have remained unchanged for quite some time. And I think that's an amazing thing!” said Hannah Craft, who wrote a very funny analysis of her cross country video for us (we particularly liked the 'washing lines' and ' emergency wings')

Hannah’s horse Sir Duke II (aka Sid) is ‘17hh of pure awesomeness and has been the yard favourite on every yard I have ever been at’.

You can understand why as you watch this happy pair jump around the BE100 at Keysoe (1) 2019




Facebook - Anna Price

The surname Price is a well-known one in eventing circles and we bet that both Tim and Jonelle would not mind sitting on this pony! Anna Price is, as far as we are aware, unrelated to the dynamic Kiwi couple but her winning ride of the Pony Trial at Oasby (1) 2020 certainly gave her a similar celebrity status on our Facebook page

It is a cracking ride and we fell in love with the white-faced speedy pony Black Jacko – you can watch their video on our Facebook page HERE



Number 6

Website - Polly Stockton

Polly Stockton and Sir Alfred II have featured previously in our winners’ videos, winning at Richmond (1) 2019 and at Blair Castle later that year they led the CCI2*-L after dressage and cross-country, but one show jump cost them the win

But it was still a great cross country ride on the beautiful Scottish course and many have loved watching them tackle it!



Facebook - Izzy Taylor

Izzy is back at Number 6 on our Facebook stats, this time riding Monkeying Around to win the CCI4*-L at Burnham Market International (3) in September 2020

It was an impressive win as Monkeying Around led from pillar to post to claim Britain's only long format four star last year. Their 23.2 finish was Izzy's lowest ever at CCI4*-L and brought about her fifth win at this level since she first won a CCI4*-L in 2014. Only four riders in the world have had more wins at the level since 2010.

Check out their winning ride on our Facebook page HERE




Number 7

Website - Jenna Harris


We defy you to not smile whilst watching this video of Jenna Harris on Mathfred China Doll at Keysoe (2) in 2019

This was the first BE event together for Jenna and the perfect ‘let’s pop this fence’ palomino, the 14-year-old 14hh Mathfred China Doll at Keysoe (2) in June 2019 when they finished 12th in the BE80(T) class

Their lovely round has earned them seventh place on our website viewing stats and, we join the photographer who exhorts them on course - “Go Jenna”!


Facebook - Oliver Townend

Jenna is in very good company with the World Number One also taking seventh place on our Facebook viewing stats with the video of Oliver Townend and Arklow Puissance winning the Open Intermediate Section Q at Cholmondeley Castle in early August proving very popular

This was a busy event for Oliver who had 13 rides there during the four days, producing several placings, but it was the 10-year-old Arklow Puissance who came home with a winner’s rug, finishing on his dressage score of 23

Do you think we’ll see Oliver back again in this year's Top 10 Countdown? We’d say it’s VERY likely!! In the meantime you can check out his seventh place ride on our Facebook page HERE




Number 8

Website - Isabella Brent


We sometimes find that videos are bought and viewed a few years after we have filmed (you can find links to past years' videos here) and this is the case with Isabella Brent on Nibeley Top Tiami, who are Number 8 on our website viewing stats

We filmed Isabella and the 14hh mare Nibeley Top Tiami at Aldon International 2017 but in 2020 they were a hit with viewers on our website! It is a great ride around the venue which sadly no longer hosts eventing so provides a ‘blast from the past’ at Aldon too!



Facebook - Izzy Taylor

Coming in at Number 8 on our Facebook page, this is the first time we’ve seen Izzy Taylor on our 2020 list but it won’t be the last!

Izzy had a great season, despite all the ups and downs of Covid-19 cancellations, finishing the year in second place of the British Eventing Top Rider League, and her winning ride at Osberton International in October helped secure that spot

Izzy and Hartacker won the CCI3*-L at Osberton International at Thoresby and you can watch their ride on our Facebook page here




Number 9

Website - Laura Ridley


Northumberland’s Laura Ridley and her 14.2hh pony Midnight VIII have made it into our most viewed in ninth place with their ride at Cholmondeley Castle in 2020.

It was 'Tokyo at Cholmondeley Castle' in 2020 with an entry list and winners that read like a Who's Who of eventing. The first two days of what turned into a four-day event saw the grassroots competitors also out in force and enjoying some great eventing post lockdown

Laura and Midnight VIII finished 22nd in a weekend BE100 Open section at an event jam packed with stars, and this class won by New Zealand’s Sam Lissington

Laura and Midnight had a fabulous ride on cross country  and, like may others, we enjoyed watching it almost as much as they enjoyed riding Alec Lochore's cross country course!



Facebook - Fiona Michaelides

Fiona Michaelides and Watts Burn were fifth in the BE100 Open at Warwick Hall (3) at their first event together, starting and finishing on their dressage score of 33. Their video attracted a lot of attention from the Watts Burn fan club, putting them in ninth place and rubbing shoulders with many top riders and horses in our Top 10, which is where Watts Burn belongs

Watts Burn had stepped down from the top level for a new life with Fiona. He was 12th at Les Etoiles de Pau CCI4* (now 5*) in 2018 with Nicky Roncoroni and represented his country on Nations Cup teams on four occasions.

He became a jet setter when Britain contested the Nations Cup at The Plains, USA in 2017 where he and Nicky finished fourth individually and they were part of the British silver medal winning team at Tattersalls two months before when they finished fifth individually

“I am the luckiest girl in the world” says Fiona “He knows his job so well I feel he can just do it on his own”

Watch their full ride on our Facebook page HERE



Number 10

Website - Shaun Malpass

Shaun Malpass and the delightfully named 15.2hh mare, PB Ginger Ninja, won the BE100 at Floors Castle 2019, but it was their 2018 ride in the CIC1* that attracted all the attention in 2020

The pair flew around the track and we can see why people have had lots of fun watching this dynamic duo.

Sadly 2019 was the last time that the event was run at the very beautiful venue of Floors Castle; following the death of the Duke the family made the decision in 2020 to discontinue the event but we will always have very fond memories of this wonderful venue on the Scottish borders



Facebook - Ros Canter

Over on our Facebook page, we’re kicking off in real style at Number Ten with the World Champion herself – Ros Canter riding Pencos Crown Jewel at Richmond (2) in September (read our full report from Richmond here)

Ros and Pencos Crown Jewel won the Open Intermediate you can watch their full ride on our Facebook page HERE