Unlimited access >

Amazing Collection of Video of CCI Events from the 90s

RNS video must have stumbled onto a hidden treasure of old Eventing videos. They have been uploading them over the last few weeks and I CANT GET ENOUGH.

I started with the Checkmate videos…so unbelievably cool to see the place where I did my second Prelim as a teen and see some of the same fences we jumped! Then seeing names you recognize or have heard of and seeing them young and green is just too fun.

From there I went to the Essex Radnor and Fair Hill Videos… then the YR and finished with the Ledyard series.

Haven’t watched the rest but I’m going to soon especially since I’m back working from home in another lockdown.

Takeaways and things I have learned:

Boy, was I ever ever WRONG thinking those were the “good ol days”. I can’t not believe the amount of horse and rider falls. Period. Then rotational falls and the riders get back on and finish! I’m just gobsmacked. I wonder if those horses ever evented again.

Riding backwards instead of forwards almost always ends in disaster. Riding confident and forward (not too forward) and soft hands almost always results in a good brave jump.

We don’t deserve horses.

Im actually glad the long format is dead. Those horses were all tired tired tired.

Appaloosas were once a lot more common in the upper levels. Warmbloods were rare and a novelty.

Everyone used huge leverage bits and snaffles were the exception lol

Sassy Reason is my new fav event horse discovered in the Checkmate videos and upon looking him up online it turns out he actually did become a superb Event horse.

Would love others to watch and hear your takeaways! Sharing some links below, many more on their channel.


Thanks for highlighting these videos!

Another thing I would love to find, somewhere … there used to be a CD created and sold, one each of each year’s Old-Rolex, Badminton and Burghley. I never collected all of them, just some … but I’d love to get hold of some collection of all of them. Especially downloadable to save forever.

It would be wonderful to preserve so many of these old videos. It is a good look at how we got where we are, over the years, as well as just a chance to enjoy some great riding of the past.


Well, certainly our standards for horse welfare(and soundness) have improved since these videos!!

A startling absence of critter-shaped jumps though…

Some of these tracks looked doable… Then there’s Punchestown Puzzle!


This is crazy!!! The commentating is awesome too! So cool


There are lots on eBay and then there is my VHS collection which is basically all I watched growing up lol

1 Like

:joy::joy::joy: one thing I noticed first was the jumps and how not dressed they are!

1 Like

It’s so great! Learning a tonne watching these.

1 Like

So I was told by a 5* rider that back in the 80s/90s (not sure the exact timing), there was a prize offered by the Appaloosa association, along the lines of if an Appaloosa won at top level (eg Rolex Kentucky) there was a $50k award (equivalent to about $90k in today’s dollars). The person who told me this had purposefully set out to win that prize and campaigned two Appaloosas at Advanced. One of those was racing bred, I believe he was an off-the-track horse, 16.1 or 16.2 and solidly built.

1 Like

Love the use of terrain–proper XC!

I’m sure some pins/frangible mechanisms could soften some of the hazards. Nonetheless, it was an endurance sport which is no longer really the case. The permanent-build fences are so more appealing than a field full of portables.

Skinnies had also not taken over in the early 90’s–they were becoming popular by the late '90s.

To each his/her own, I guess… Courses to suit a very different set of both horses & riders & land availability & mindset.


Yes! David O Connor catch rides one who won that award in one of the videos! I think it’s a Radnor one but I watched so many I can’t remember.

I love the appies because they always have a happy keen expression and only exert whatever is necessary and keep their knees so tight.

@banmharcach I love the courses! The riding is what has really improved imo. Lots of riders with no solid position and just riding from the seat. When it works it works, when it doesn’t it’s disaster.

I saw them posting these when they first put them up and felt like I hit the lotto. My “watch later” list is packed full. I can’t wait till I have time to actually watch!


I’m just a wannabe eventer, but if courses looked that way today I don’t think I’d even entertain the thought of venturing outside H/J. Through most of these videos, I didn’t know if I should be panicking or cheering! Sometimes I was doing both!!

I did get a good chuckle out of watching several riders flung from their horses, climb back on and kick on! That much adrenaline would have my hands shaking so badly, we’d probably end up zigzagging through the rest of the course :joy:

That’s so funny I was thinking the same thing when I saw them :joy: The first Checkmate one appeared right in front of me as I was lazing on the couch at like 1 am watching videos lol. I couldn’t believe they even filmed all this because it doesn’t seem like it was made for tv.

Wow. That Checkmate video is painful to watch in many ways. That direct route at #13 was just dangerous - the horses that went the straight route almost all hit their stifles hard on that fence. The decisions to get back on after some of the falls or to keep going with some horses that were clearly tired or over faced, were just not good ones. Ugh. I’m not sure I’m up for any more of the “good old days”.

But Sassy Reason is awesome - I had a poster of him on my wall in high school. I think it must have been from 1993 when he won Burghley and was USEA horse of the year.


Good god at the checkmate one… don’t have time to watch the whole thing for a bit (though I want to!) but the woman in blue smacking her horse with the crop after the refusal and then he dumped her at the next fence. I think I would have too!


Not to be a Debby Downer, but these videos remind me why I hated eventing in the 90s.


Yes, that was enraging. And so close to being a rotational for the horse on the one where she fell. He really seemed sticky and lacking impulsion at most of the fences. Ugh.

I’ve only watched Checkmate one so far but here’s a few of my thoughts.

  • almost every rider could put their stirrups up at least 2 holes
  • so weird to see horses trotting on course
  • so weird to see riders get back on especially in such a rush
  • I can’t get over the scores!
  • the Punchestown complex and the coffin complex are terrifying. I honestly don’t understand how any horse read that bank in Punchestown combination
  • I do love the natural looking fences and use of terrain. It’s soooooo nice to see a course where not every jump is a skinny or arrowhead. Or a greenhouse worth of flowers in front of every jump.
  • loved the bank in the stadium
  • I don’t think the horses looked any more tired than what we see today

The feet halfway through the stirrups and the stirrups being too long made me cringe so hard! You see some of that still but not nearly this bad.

1 Like

Totally. This is more in line with my memories of “the bygone days” – and no, I wouldn’t trade going back for anything.

Plus, I really like how far our saddles and tack have come since those days… lol!