Just because summer has now well and truly ended, it doesn’t mean we have to hibernate till next spring. There is plenty of horse shows and events to look forward to that will help banish those end-of-summer blues and an opportunity to brush up on skills as well as simply having a good time.
The Derby House Post has selected five events to put in the diary for the next three months and, before you know it, the 2016 season will be starting.
Dressage meets hunting and racing at the Countryside Raceday, held on the first day of the Open Meeting at Cheltenham Racecourse. The event, which has become a popular social occasion in the equestrian calendar for many groups and clubs, is a fundraiser for the Countryside Alliance as well as the British Equestrian Team and monies raised will go towards supporting the British dressage, eventing, showjumping and para-dressage squads in preparation for the Olympic Games in Rio.
There are six races on the card, including the feature Glenfarclas cross-country chase, and, unusually for Cheltenham racecourse perhaps, dressage also features prominently on the schedule. Recently retired 20-times champion jockey AP McCoy will try his hand at the sport alongside Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin, no less, and his performance has to be worth watching.
There is a shopping village — so no excuses not to make a start on the Christmas shopping. After racing, Brightwells are holding a bloodstock sale and until 8pm there is live music from the Chip Shop Boys.
The gates open at 10.00 and the first race is scheduled for 13.05.
For more information, see the Cheltenham website.
Calling all event riders! How about an evening to brush up on your cross-country technique? British Eventing, in association with the Event Riders Association, is running four BE Masterclasses at venues around the country.
The Masterclasses, sponsored by Treehouse Sporting Colours, will focus on improving cross-country riding from BE80 to three-star and will be presented by either former Olympian and German-team trainer Christopher Bartle or by British-based Australian Badminton winner Paul Tapner.
All the classes are open to non-members of BE as well as members and cost £20.00. Dates asre as follows:
Wednesday, November 11, at The College Equestrian Centre, Keysoe, Bedford with Paul Tapner
Thursday, November 12, at Bishop Burton College, York Road, Bishop Burton, East Yorkshire, with Chris Bartle
Wednesday, November 18, at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire with Paul Tapner
A February date for a Scottish venue with Chris Bartle is to be confirmed.
For more information and tickets, visit the British Eventing website.
For all things dressage, head to Hartpury College for the British Dressage Convention. This year’s two-day convention, supported by Harrison Clark Rickerbys, is set to the theme ‘Best of British’ so, naturally, the first British Olympic gold-medal team of Carl Hester, Charlotte Dujardin and Laura Tomlinson will be on the presenting panel while BBC presenter and dressage fan Lee McKenzie and BD’s Training Director and grand prix rider Paul Hayler will be the hosts.
The two days will be different but both will feature ridden demonstrations, teaching sessions and time for question & answers sessions.
A two-day ticket costs £80 for BD members and £90 for non-members, while day tickets are £50 for members and £55 for non-members. There is a special rate for BHS members.
For more information, visit the British Dressage website.
There is no better way of getting into the Christmas spirit than visiting the London International Horse Show at Olympia.
This iconic six-day show is simply a must and you don’t even have to be a horse nut to enjoy it as the programme caters for all with a great combination of world-class showjumping, dressage and driving, as well as some stunning entertainment. This year, look for the amazing Jean-Francois Pignon and his team of liberty horses, the Household Cavalry and others.
There is a huge shopping village, ideal for those still on the hunt for Christmas presents, as well as a restaurant and the popular champagne bar. Or you can treat the family and friends to a great Christmas present of afternoon tea or dinner in a ringside box.
For more information, see the Olympia website.
How about a New Year outing to Liverpool for the inaugural Liverpool International Horse Show?
This new international jumping show is to be held at the Echo Arena on Liverpool’s historic
It is the brainchild of the indefatigable Nina Barbour, who initiated and runs Bolesworth International, as she wanted to bring top-class jumping and entertainment to the heart of the city and the North-West of England.
The proceedings end with a performance from the Bootleg Beatles.
For more details, visit the Echo Arena website.
Image: Charlotte Dujardin at the 2014 Olympia Horse Show by Kit Houghton/Hpower, courtesy of the Olympia London International Horse Show