Let me set the scene.
It’s a brisk but bright Sunday morning. You’re looking out over your beautiful rolling hills, complete with well kept hedgerows, having a cuppa after you’ve turned out your horses for the day. The breeze is chilly as the first horseboxes arrive, and you can start to feel a buzz of excitement and trepidation building. Horses are unloaded, more boxes arrive, and the hum is taking hold. People bustle around tacking this horse up, putting those boots on, getting numbers. Off to the warm-up to get everyone in sync, and then to pull each other round the course, words of encouragement and “keep up!” ring loud and clear (and a few “I don’t know where I’m going!!” “LEFT! GO LEEEFFTT!”).
Yes, spirits run high. As high as the fences. This isn’t just any event – this is team chasing.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that these riders were here to pop the cross country fences scattered throughout the fields at Semer, should you have arrived on the off-chance of catching some fun horse riding. What these riders come out for is something much more than that – the hunt without hunting, the challenge of being against the clock, against the other teams, of making it around the course as heart-stoppingly fast as possible, over dense hedgerows lining fields, that snake up and down across the rolling countryside. I can only imagine the adrenaline rush at the end when you’ve made it round with your team members alongside you! For jumping is something I love to watch, but will likely never do to any dizzy heights.
This is an event I first discovered last year, and waddled around in my 5 months pregnant state, and when it came up again this year there was no debate on whether I would be coming back! The aim of the game is to get your team (minimum 3 people, ideally 4!) around the course in the fastest time. If you’ve never experienced team chasing before, I strongly urge you to get out and watch it when they’re competing in your area. I promise you won’t regret it.
I was most excited that I undertook my first two live facebook broadcasts whilst we were at Semer. Whilst I apologise that they weren’t groundbreaking or hugely exciting, this was a big step for me – there will be more videos to come in the future! Keep an eye on my facebook page, you never know when I might pop up next.
Of course I couldn’t attend without my camera to capture some of the action, so here are a few of my favourites from the day. You can see more on my Facebook Page, link below.
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