Brampton Willows » Horse Trials & Exhibitions Archive
During the early to mid 1990s Robert Yates made various obstacles for the cross country courses at most of the top international Horse Trials, including Badminton, Burghley and Bramham. Like all of Robert's work, the 'waves' are woven around a steel skeleton for structural strength and rigidity.
Cross Country Obstacles
In October 2005, after almost nine years since he last contributed to the Horse Trials world, Robert approached the Director of Badminton with the idea of building a 3D 'surf wave' and was commissioned to make four of them to form one of the water combination obstacles at Badminton 2006. They have subsequently been used in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. These 'waves' are about 12' wide, 4' deep and just under 4' tall. They weigh 300kg each. Like all of Robert's work, the 'waves' are woven around a steel skeleton for structural strength and rigidity. For extra strength as well as aesthetics, Robert and his assistant Glyn Gray used a heavy duty decorative weave which was very time consuming - each 'wave' took a week to make!
Despite a few falls and refusals, the 'waves' seemed to jump very well and there were no injuries to horses or riders. The most interesting thing was to see how much the obstacles 'moved' on impact, only to spring back into shape afterwards. This just shows how much 'give' there is in them which has got to be a good thing for both the horses and riders! After three years' use and despite many horses 'banking' these obstacles, they have barely been damaged at all and should last for a few more years yet! Most conventional obstacles are made of timber and are therefore limited in design. While exhibiting at Burghley in 1991, and although not at all 'horsey', Robert could see the potential in making obstacles out of willow in terms of design and that 'something different' factor which might appeal to the general public. Over the years he has made anything from an African-style village with witches' huts, to a Venetian gondola, giant cornucopia, as well as a 'live' 3D cork screw fence.
The Early Days
1991, 1992 and 1993. Suffolk Show, Burghley and Norfolk Show.
Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
The Chelsea Flower Show
1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002. Over the years Brampton Willows' award winning stands at the Chelsea Flower Show have demonstrated just how seamlessly willow blends in with all garden designs, traditional and contemporary.