Friday, 22 March 2013

Bolsover Castle - Return of Cavendish's Horses

I'm lucky enough to live in the historic Derbyshire town of Bolsover, dominated by Bolsover Castle. Built on a limestone escarpment overlooking the Scarsdale Valley, it is hard to miss on the approach to the town.

The present castle was built on the site of an ealier Norman castle as a 'Pleasure Palace' , a 17th century holiday home, by Sir Charles Cavendish, younger son of Bess of Hardwick. His son, William Cavendish, was passionate about horses and it was he who built the stables and riding school. Here he championed advanced dressage techniques, known as 'Haute Ecole'.

Now, Cavendish's Horses are returning to English Heritage-owned Bolsover Castle. From Easter weekend, a spectacular display of these techniques will be demonstrated in the historic riding school twice a day on Saturdays and Sundays.

On Thursday, 21st March, I was privileged to see a full dress rehearsal and it was wonderful. With the riders in 17th century attire, the horses enjoying all the attention, accompanied by atmospheric music and authentic-sounding commentary, it was an experience not to be missed. I can thoroughly recommend this experience.

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