Tag Archive: Bramham

  1. All eyes on Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials

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    Eventing’s northern lights are set to shine brightly next week with confirmation of a stellar entry for the Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials.

    Reigning world champion Sandra Auffarth and current world number one William Fox-Pitt lead an outstanding cast-list that features six former Bramham winners across the headline CCI and CIC three-star classes.

    It provides further confirmation of Bramham’s high-profile status on the eventing map, with riders flocking to a competition that was founded 41 years ago and takes place in glorious Bramham Park, which is situated between Leeds and Wetherby in West Yorkshire.

    Auffarth is currently spending time in Britain with German eventing team coach Chris Bartle, the Yorkshireman who masterminded recent Olympic, World and European titles, and she will contest the CIC three-star aboard Opgun Louvo.

    German ace Auffarth and Opgun Louvo were individual bronze medallists at London 2012, and then won the world title in Normandy last September. She rarely competes in Britain, so her appearance represents a major coup for Bramham organisers as they put the finishing touches to preparations for this year’s event, which runs from June 11-14.

    Fox-Pitt, who this week reclaimed the world number one spot from Auffarth’s fellow German star Michael Jung, has a remarkable record at Bramham.

    He has won the CCI three-star a record seven times, including back-to-back victories in 2012 and 2013 with his reigning Badminton champion and likely 2016 Rio Olympics ride Chilli Morning, and this year he arrives with a former Bramham CIC three-star for eight and nine-year-olds winner Fernhill Pimms.

    The CCI three-star offers a first prize of just under £6,000, in addition to a year’s use of an Equi-Trek Sonic horse box, and it promises to be eagerly-contested.

    Yorkshireman Oliver Townend, who has never won Bramham’s three-star, will arrive with Skyhills Cavalier, Dunbeau and ODT Ghareeb, while New Zealander Andrew Nicholson – a previous champion on Nereo – has MHS King Joules and Perfect Stranger, while former European individual gold medallist Tina Cook is on Star Witness and Calvino II.

    There are potential winners throughout the entry list, with Pippa Funnell aiming her recently-crowed Chatsworth champion Sandman 7 at the Bramham title, while the chances of Kitty King (Persimmon), Sarah Cohen (Treason) and Francis Whittington (Fernhill Highlight) also cannot be discounted.

    Visitors to Bramham will also have an opportunity to watch some of eventing’s brightest young talent in action, courtesy of the Bishop Burton College Under-25 CCI three-star, with Tom Jackson looking to successfully defend his title amid a strong challenge from riders like Dani Evans, Emily King and Holly Woodhead.

    The action starts at Bramham on Thursday, June 11 with dressage for the CCI and CIC sections, while the under-25s are all day Friday, and Saturday sees riders in all sections tackling Ian Stark’s stunning cross-country challenge, before Sunday’s showjumping finale.

    British Showjumping classes are also on the Bramham schedule, highlighted by the Wetherby Skip Services Grand Prix and the Bramham Classic. Entries include a remarkable seven members of the Whitaker family – Ellen, George, James, William, Joe, Steven and Louise – in addition to Robert Smith, Kerry Brennan and Pippa Allen.

    And Bramham additionally hosts a number of classes in the Hunter Show on Thursday, including Horse of the Year Show qualifiers for light, middle and heavyweight and working Hunters, and a Dubarry Burghley young event horse four and five-year-old qualifier ahead of the prestigious championship final at Burghley in September.

    Image: Pippa Funnell riding Or Noir de la Loge in the CCI*** at Bramham last year

  2. Top 10 events this season

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    With the start of the eventing season just round the corner, now is the time to put this year’s must see events in the diary. The following 10 events offer more than just horses – which means you can take a non horsey other half along too.

    Belton International Horse Trials April 17-19

    Kick off the season with this amazing event in the grounds of the historic Belton House, which will be open to visitors. Beside the ubiquitous trade stands – (the food here is particularly good)  – the event has a classic car show, a dog show and 10k trail run (all on Sunday) while Friday is billed as ‘ladies day’. Dress warm though. The ‘wind-chill’ factor here can be punishing.


    Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials May 7-10

    You have to go to Badminton just because it is the world’s best known three-day event and everyone who is anyone in eventing will be here. It’s not necessarily an event for the uninitiated – if  you don’t know your Oliver Townend from your Austin o’Connor and aren’t up for any shopping there’s not much for you here – but Badminton is located in a beautiful part of the country; Tetbury, Malmesbury, Painswick (location for A Casual Vacancy) and Bath are all within 20miles.


    Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials May 15-17

    Take a caravan and stay in the grounds of Chatsworth Estate. Caravan membership, includes access to a members enclosure and a 2-for-1 offer to visit the famous house and garden. You’ll have a lovely holiday. The renowned Chatsworth garden alone, with its sculpture, maze, greenhouses and speciality gardens, will while away a day. But don’t forget to watch some horses too.


    NAF Five Star Saumur complet May 21-24

    Saumur, situated on the banks of the Loire, offers the perfect weekend break less than a three-hour drive from the ferry port of Caen. Stay in the town; its pretty square is a great place for after event drinks and eats. Visit the famous chateau or take a guided tour of the Cadre Noir. And – the best bit – you can buy cases of delicious Loire wine to bring home.


    Tattersalls International Horse Trials and Country Fair May 27-31

    Just 11 miles from the cosmopolitan city of Dublin, Tattersalls is situated opposite Fairyhouse Racecourse. Even if the weather is atrocious, there’ll be a cilvilised (mud free) restaurant and bar in Tattersalls Country house. The event is the usual mix of horses, hounds and trade-stands but with wonderfully enthusiastic Irish commentary on cross-country day.


    Equi-trek Bramham International Horse Trials June 11-14

    It’s true, Bramham is a horsefest. As well as international eventing there is real showjumping, showing, a stallion parade, mounted games and a young event horse qualifier, so much to entertain. If you need a break from horses though, the former spa town of Harrogate is just 13 easy miles away, for one of Betty’s famous teas.


    The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials September 3-6

    Christmas shopping alert! Burghley’s shopping arcades and marquees are the best of all the events. You could happily spend the whole weekend there without setting eyes on a horse. Then there is the Park and ultimately the beautiful  town of Stamford to explore if any time is left. Buy a season ticket and enjoy breakfast in the member’s car park while enjoying the unique view of Burghley House – there is no other like it.


    FEI European Eventing Championships Blair Castle September 10-13

    Book a tipi or yurt for four days of glamping, Scottish hospitality and stunning scenery at Blair Castle, situated between Perth and Inverness. The Bruador Country Fair runs alongside the event that will witness the best event riders in Europe battling it out for the medals.


    Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials September 17-20

    This Oxfordshire event enjoys a stunning location at the eponymous palace and 2000 acre park – and the weather can be surprisingly kind at this time of year. Blenheim Palace is a huge visitor attraction and a day out on its own without seeing a horse and there is also good shopping, a food marquee and a member’s ringside restaurant.


    Mondial du Lion October 15-18

    One of the most civilised fixtures in the eventing calendar. The World Young Horse Championships take place just outside Le Lions D’Angers another easy drive from Caen. Stay at a local chateau or in the nearby town of Angers. On site there’s  mud free shopping, excellent champagne bars and a restaurant for an extremely civilised French lunch. Enjoy the autumnal scenery and artistic cross country fences whilst supping on a glass (or two) of vin chaud.