Pippa Skelton - BE80 Champion at Bramham 2022 | An Eventful Life

Pippa Skelton - BE80 Champion at Bramham 2022

 

 

An Eventful Life filmed all competitors on cross country at

Bramham BE80 Championships 2022 - order or view videos here

 

The inaugural NAF Five Star BE80 Championships held at Bramham International Horse Trials on June 8th and 9th might have suffered from two-covid false starts and a reduced entry but the Champion was more than deserving of the crown.

A true grassroots combination, Philippa (Pippa) Skelton is a primary school teacher from Bristol who managed to extend her half-term holiday to venture up north at almost the last-minute, to the stunning and undulating Bramham Park in Yorkshire.

“I didn’t even know I’d qualified until three weeks’ ago” explained Julie, who was one of approximately 150 combinations eligible for the championships by virtue of winning a BE80 section - her qualification coming from her sole British Eventing competition of 2021, at Pontispool last May.

However, Pippa and her mount, Brian Boru III, known as Bo, are no stranger to success.

The partnership placed 14th at the Arena Eventing BE80 championships earlier this year and were second at Howick BE80 just three weeks’ before the Bramham Championships.

Indeed, although their BE record spans just 20 events at BE80 and BE90 level over the past seven years, it includes nine podium finishes!

 

 

“He is the most amazing horse ever” says Pippa, who is registered as Bo’s owner for BE purposes but is actually very much his party-owner, while Julie Glynn is his passported owner.

Julie bought Bo as a five-year-old, ten years’ ago and hacks him around the woods but soon recognised he was a natural performer – his father being a stunt horse, Tregarth Black Lad who can be found on YouTube performing a dance routine to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

As a flashy chestnut Welsh Section D with four white socks and white blaze, Bo often scores sub-30 dressage scores and was one of three to do so in this Championship, starting the title challenge in third place on 29.8 penalties, less than a penalty behind the leader.

“Bo performs for carrots” says Pippa who is aware of his natural waistline, which is generally whittled down by Nic Barnes, Julie’s sister-in-law, who was grooming for this event but is usually found cantering him around fields.

“His only weak link is his waistline” declares Pippa who was anxious for the cross-country phase thanks to a head-scratching drawbridge fence that Pippa said “Was obviously inspired by Badminton!”

 

 

Their faultless cross-country round propelled them into second place but, with less than a penalty separating the top five placings, the show jumping proved crucial.

Run in reverse order of merit, Pippa heard the final fence fall for the leader, so Bo took the crown.

Pippa says “It must’ve been so frustrating for her but to find out we’d qualified the day before entries closed, come up and then win, I feel so lucky!”

Pippa evented to novice level some years ago saying “That was before having children who are now 25 and 17 and my own horse is retired so I am very grateful to Julie for letting me ride Bo.”

The next plan is for Julie to tackle some unaffiliated dressage tests on the Champion, and for Pippa to continue to enjoy riding him on the rare occasion.

“I usually just ride Bo in lessons with Claire Loney, in clinics with Equestrian Training South West or the day before we’ve decided to enter him in a ‘party’” she explains

Thus Pippa, Julie and Nic were off to celebrate – an invitation to the Thursday Cocktail Party being hugely appreciated.

Pippa concludes, “I’ve had the best week and don’t want to go home – especially when having to nag my son to revise is hell” adding, “Being at Bramham is heaven!”

Article by Anna Bruce