Waveney’s willow waves to test horse riders at top event
- Credit: EDP pics © 2005
Brampton Willows, based near Beccles, has been commissioned to make three more of its willow 'waves' as cross-country obstacles for this year's Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.
The 'waves' will be the show-piece obstacles at the world-famous venue for this year's cross-country event.
Brampton Willows designed and made the original ones back in 2006 but after nine years of pounding by the horses, event director Hugh Thomas, thought it was time to replace them with new ones.
The 'waves' are designed as mobile obstacles which can be moved around and used for many years. The willow has been woven around an integral steel armature for structural strength as the obstacles have to be able to withstand the impact of half a ton of horse landing on them.
Robert Yates, owner of Brampton Willows, said: 'Needless to say, we are delighted to have been asked to make them again. Like last time, we have used a very heavy duty weave – it's almost like some sort of armour-plating. The most interesting thing is to see how much the waves flex on impact, only to spring back immediately.'
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Mr Yates has also made stunning willow fences for the international horse trials at Burghley.
And last year he created two large willow sculptures which took his willow weaving skills to a new level.
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He was commissioned to make a 4-metre diameter willow propellor and later a large gorilla.
Mr Yates founded the family-run business in the mid 1980s.