We were delighted to catch up with one of the equestrian industry’s most celebrated names, Emily Lochore, at the recent Burnham Market International Horse Trials. Nags Essentials is delighted to support Emily throughout the year, and be part of the local shows which she and her husband’s business, Musketeer Events, organises – it is always special to be part of them as they are close to our Norfolk home!
In fact, along with competing internationally, running her incredible eventing centre and working with clients across a range of levels of riding experience, Emily and her husband have been responsible for the growth of several key events in the equestrian calendar.
The first Burnham Market event took place at Sussex Farm back in 1999, was awarded international status in 2003 and now hosts a range of classes over three days. Effectively three ‘one day’ events with dressage and showjumping, followed by cross country, the Burnham Market International Horse Trials attracts some of the industry’s biggest names including Team GB Olympians Zara Phillips, William Fox-Pitt, Pippa Funnell and Mary King.
“It’s a real family affair,” says Emily. “It was started by the late Col. Guy Watton, with my father as show director, my brother-in-law as the course builder, and my husband, Alec, subsequently took over as course designer and organiser.” Today, even the couple’s young sons get involved.
While the Burnham Market International Horse Trials is a highly polished event with a raft of sponsors, exhibitors and corporate hospitality, Sussex Farm is, first and foremost, Emily’s home and where she operates her equestrian business.
“It is my teaching and training centre year round, and it looks absolutely fantastic before the trials begin, and although the grass gets trampled we have an excellent team and within two weeks it’s fully repaired. Meanwhile we are busy rerouting to Houghton to prepare for the trials there in May.”
In fact, the 2011 Houghton International Horse Trials is where Nags Essentials and Emily first connected, leading to a relationship that has flourished ever since. “Nags Essentials has always got everything I need,” says Emily, “from light tack to safety equipment, they’re my go-to place and they’re always at the main shows so we catch-up regularly.
“I’ve been at this a long time, and I’m not a blingy rider so I tend to turn to good old-fashioned, trustworthy kit. My preferred hat is a Champion, and I use Charles Owen for dressage, but the type of gear I use is essentially what I wore 20 years ago.”
Safety is central to everything that Emily and Alec do, and although she feels it’s important not to lose the fun of the sport, she echoes her husband’s view (former London 2012 Olympic eventing manager and technical delegate at Rio 2016) that the adrenaline of the sport must come secondary to protecting riders and horses.
“Although we love seeing Sussex Farm come to life with some of the world’s best riders and horses on show, it’s always an enormous relief when the last horse clears the final jump and everyone’s enjoyed the event safely without any accidents,” adds Emily.
After Houghton, Emily is busy teaching and competing, along with running her many summer residential camps, when guests can arrive at her eventing centre with their horses and enjoy time on the farm and a stay at its holiday cottages. “It’s a very special experience,” says Emily, “when you can switch off from the rest of life and enjoy a relaxed time doing something you love – it really is such a beautiful place to be.”
For more information about Emily’s teaching and training centre, visit www.bm-ec.com