Equestrian Blog

News and thoughts from around the equestrian community

If it's new and it's happening at Robinsons, you'll find it here. Keep checking here to stay fully up-to-date with the latest developments at the UK's biggest and best equestrian provider!

Will You 'Dare to be Dublin' First?

Dublin clothing and footwear have always promised riders great value for money, offering a reliable performance at a competitive price. It's an enduringly popular range which has probably graced every stable yard in the country at some point or other. And yet, part of this rather solid, dependable range of riding wear has decided to become a little less solid, much more technically competent and a bit more, well, daring. It seems as though in the area of riding footwear, changes are afoot! There's a brand new range of Dublin riding footwear, about to be launched in the UK at Badminton Horse Trials next month.  As you can see, these new items are meticulously designed and employ a level of technology that you'd expect to see in boots that are significantly more expensive - and Robinsons are among the very select few places where you can buy from the new range, before they're officially launched! Have a look at this 'Dare to be Dublin' teaser video that Dublin have put on YouTube.  It's already been viewed over 20,000 times and seems to be attracting lots of Likes.   By the way, if you're concerned the colour's a bit too daring for your liking,  the range on offer will not all be in red patent leather - they will also come in standard black and brown.  On the other hand, if you quite like the idea of daring to go for the shiny red option, a limited number will be available! The items in the range are: The Dublin Edge Boots The Dublin Defy Half Chap The Dublin Defy Zip Jodhpur Boots The Dublin Defy Jodhpur Boots The Dublin Intensity Gaiter (available in red patent, while stocks last) The Dublin Intensity Zip Jodhpur Boots (available in red patent, while stocks last) The Dublin Intensity Jodhpur Boots 

Cardiff Store Open!

We're delighted to announce that our fourth store at Cardiff is now open! Located at Pugh's Garden Village at Morganstown, just off Junction 32 of the M4, it may 'only' be 4,000 square feet, but we still think that makes it the largest equestrian-only store in Wales. We're delighted to open a store in Wales and we've been amazed at the warmth of the welcome we've received.  In Pugh's, we've also found a wonderful site, popular and easy to find.  The whole team at Pugh's have been extremely helpful so far and we're very proud to be a part of their village. As you'll see from the pictures below, we've done all we can to make the interior look as similar as possible to our other stores.  We wanted it to feel like a Robinsons store - and in doing so, make it feel different to anywhere else.  Of course, it's been a tough job scaling down our huge range to fit in a space a quarter of the size of our Ashton (and Basingstoke) store.  We think we've managed it - and time will tell if we've got it right - but we'll be watching our stocks and listening to customers carefully over the coming weeks to make sure that the right products are being offered - in the right quantities. We hope you like it and we invite you to let us know what you think.  In the meantime, here are a few pictures of the store:

Oliver Townend Wins Express Eventing

The inaugural Express Eventing International Cup has been won by Oliver Townend riding Edward and Robert Nicholson's Flint Curtis. The £100,000 prize money to the winning rider was hard earned after a challenging competition involving Dressage to Music, followed by a combined show jumping and cross country phase with a pit stop between the two stages for riders to change their equipment. Lucy Wiegersma came second with William Fox-Pitt taking third place. Although not as many tickets were sold as the organisers had hoped, the atmosphere in the Millenium Stadium was still enthusiastic and everyone was excited to see the day's action. This mood was enhanced by the initial Dressage stage being set to music. Riders had to compile their own interpretation of the required dressage movements not only so that the test was the correct length but also that they and the horse were in time with the music they'd chosen. The riders choice of music was varied, some choosing classical or indigenous music, while others chose more popular tunes by bands like ABBA and Survivor. Judges Arlene Phillips and Andrew Lloyd Webber commented on the way in which riders and horses interpreted the music, while dressage judges marked the horses movements and paces. The show jumping course proved difficult with many riders incurring penalties through knock downs. Several riders took the wrong course, resulting in them being eliminated before attempting the cross country phase. The pit stop changes proved troublesome for some of the riders as they struggled to change out of their showjumping jackets and into their body protectors and cross country colours. Times in the 'pits' varied from an astounding 30 seconds by Oliver Townend to a less impressive 1 minute by Eventing Legend Mark Todd. The cross country phase of the competition was particularly demanding on horse and rider, again remembering the course was an issue for several riders. There were difficult combinations which some riders struggled with, resulting in many being eliminated for 3 disobediences. Some riders were helped massively by their horses. William Fox-Pitt being one of them, my seat was in the perfect position to see how Ballincoola jumped the third part of the brush combination by his own free will. After an uncomfortable jump at 9b William wasn't in a position to guide his horse but Ballincoola chose to jump and William luckily stayed with him. With only 6 out of the 19 competitors completing the final phase, the event proved to be as tough as any top 3 Day Event. For anyone watching, it has to be said that the atmosphere throughout the jumping stages was electric, the whole crowd got behind every horse and huge cheers accompanied every rider as they completed any difficult section of the course. The top three riders and horses absolutely deserved their places, William Fox Pitt set the standard with a fabulous but lucky cross country round, Lucy Wiegersma rode a determined round with Shaabrak proving his Olympic potential by staying as straight and honest as possible at every jump. When Ollie Townend set off on his show jumping round though it was clear he meant business, he rode every jump with a precision and determination not shown by any other rider. His pit stop was controlled and efficient meaning he saved 15 seconds on the time allowed. As he set off on the cross country phase it was immediately obvious that the lead was in serious danger, he instantly cut corners to save every precious second he could. He galloped on every straight stretch of ground but still negotiated the difficult jumps with the respect and care needed to get over safely. Flint Curtis jumped with absolute perfection and took strides out at every slightly easier fence to fly over like a racehorse. His round was an amazing 40 seconds faster than second placed Lucy Wiegersma and his celebration after the last fence showed how he knew someone would have to do something spectacular to beat him. After such a fantastic day and a fabulous competition, there was was the most devastating of finishes when Mary King's Call Again Cavalier fell at the second part of fence 12. As he struggled to his feet it was obvious to everyone that he was seriously injured and a respectful silence fell around the whole stadium. He received immediate veterinary attention and was led into the horse ambulance to be treated as quickly as possible. Tragically he is believed to have sustained a broken femur in the fall and had to be put to sleep.  Call Again Cavalier's wins were many and he partnered Mary King to some fantastic achievements culminating in a team bronze at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to Mary and Call Again Cavalier's owners, Mr and Mrs Davies and Mrs Chin.