King leads the charge

Kitty King and Ceylor L A N currently top the NAF Magic CIC3* leaderboard at the end of day two of the NAF Five Star Hartpury International Horse Trials dressage on a score of 22.3.

King sits three marks clear of second-placed Alexander Bragg and Zagreb on 25.5 while overnight leader Aoife Clark and Fernhill Adventure now sit in third with 25.5.

Ireland still leads the NAF Superflex CCI2* with Aoife Clark and Calling Card on 27. Japan’s Ryuzo Kitajima and Vick Du Gisors JRA now fill second place on 29.4, and in third sits Ben Lee Liles and Ballyellen Buzz on 29.8.

In the NAF MPower CCI1* ranks, the leader board remained the same until the very end of the day when penultimate rider Dani Evans and Hollywood Dancer took the lead on 27.1 ahead of third-last to go Susie Berry and Fernhill G on 27.6 who now lie in second place. Overnight leaders, Sweden’s Erika Sjostrom and Dantino B, are now in third on 27.8.

The excitement is building ahead of tomorrow’s cross-country, which sees some major changes to the course. Riders have been praising the hard work of the ground staff in ensuring the perfect going despite the difficult conditions.

“We had a brilliant heavy shower this morning but we really appreciate the huge amount of effort that has gone into the ground,” said British Olympic eventer Pippa Funnel today. “The landings and the spiking that’s been done are absolutely excellent. I’ve come to Hartpury for many years and there has certainly been a few changes [to the course], but it looks really exciting and I can’t wait to get out there tomorrow.”

Alongside the thrilling cross-country phase of the Horse Trials, Saturday 11 August also boasts our fun-filled Hartpury Summer Fair, perfect for all the family and bursting with exciting things to do and watch including a birds of prey demonstration, family fun dog show, police horse demo, side-saddle demo, face painting, treasure hunt and much more. Open 12-4pm, £5 entry, 16 and under go free.

Tickets are still available for cross-country day on Saturday 11 August and Sunday 12 August, at £5 per person. Under 16s and parking is free all weekend. To stay up to date with the latest news and results, visit www.hartpuryhorsetrials.co.uk  or Facebook @hartpuryhorsetrials

Further information about Hartpury
www.hartpury.ac.uk
Hartpury College is one of the UK’s leading land-based and sports colleges. The campus covers more than 360 hectares and is located near to Gloucester and Cheltenham. The college is the world’s largest equine education facility and regularly wins national titles in rugby, football, netball, rowing, modern pentathlon and golf. University Centre, Hartpury has more than 1,550 students completing foundation degrees, honours degrees and postgraduate qualifications in equine, sport and animal and agriculture.  The College also has 2,000 students studying A Levels, BTEC Diplomas and short courses.

 

Photo: Kitty King and Ceylor L A N, credit: Sally Newcomb

Ireland leads the NAF Magic CIC3* dressage on day one

After a super first day of dressage at the NAF Five Star Hartpury International Horse Trials, Ireland’s Aoife Clark and Fernhill Adventure head the provisional Magic CIC3* dressage leaderboard with 25.5, two marks clear of runner-up Sam Ecroyd and Wodan III. France’s Sebastien Cavaillon and Sarah D Argouges lie in third with 29.

Ben Lee Liles currently fills the top slot in the NAF Superflex CCI2* with Ballyellen Buzz on a score of 29.8. Emily Philp and Fallulah are runners-up with 29.8 while New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson claims third with Andrea BT4 on 31.

The NAF MPower CCI1* leaderboard is close at the top and currently sees Switzerland’s Erika Sjostrom (Dantino B) and Britain’s Vicky Tuffs (Heartbeat) share the top spot on 27.8, with only a collective putting Erika ahead. Jesse Campbell and Morning Fawlty are sitting in third with 28.2.

Hartpury’s BSc Equestrian Sport Science student and Hartpury Equine Academy rider Victoria Leabeater is currently lying in seventh position in the NAF MPower CCI1* riding her own Darco IV with a score of 30.7.“I’ve only owned Darco since November and this is his first three-day event, so I’m really pleased with how he coped with the atmosphere,” said Victoria. “I’m really looking forward to tackling the cross-country with him and hope he has a good, confidence-giving round as he’s definitely my horse for the future.”

Tickets are still available for cross-country day, Saturday and Sunday, at £5 per person. Under 16s and parking is free all weekend.

To stay up to date with the latest news and results, visit www.hartpuryhorsetrials.co.uk  or Facebook @hartpuryhorsetrials

Photo: Switzerland’s Erika Sjostrom (Dantino B), Courtesy of Tim Wilkinson Eventing Images

Young Stars Shine at Hartpury

Day one of the NAF Five Star Hartpury International Horse Trials showcased the stars of the future in the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse qualifier.

A cool breeze and light cloud cover on an otherwise blue sky was the perfect climate for riders to showcase the eventing stars of the future.

Harry Horgan and Sara Brown’s Sirius were clear winners of the four-year-old class, winning by a 10-point margin from runners up Ginnie Turnbull and Geoffrey Burton’s A Bootlegger Black who scored 78, followed by third-placed Emily Young Jamieson and Sarah Cowley’s Joanna N.O who scored 77. All three have now qualified for the final, which takes place at Burghley Horse Trials in September.

Harry and Sirius (Scuderia x Contendro I) pulled off a mature and flowing dressage test for 28 points (out of 30) followed by a foot-perfect clear round for 35 points (out of 40) in the showjumping. He then scored 11 out of 12 for his conformation and 7 out of 8 for his type, finishing on a total score of 88.

Harry also had another ride in the top 10 — his and Mr and Mrs Lawrence’s Noble Knight who finished fourth with a score of 75.

“Both horses are from Brightwells auction,” said Harry. “Noble Knight was a surprise as this was his first outing. Sirius has already qualified for the BYEH finals, but we wanted to bring him here to experience the atmosphere and develop his education. I’m delighted with them. They’ve been with us since three-year-olds so to come out and perform well makes it all worthwhile. I love producing the four and five-year-olds.”

The five-year-old qualifier got underway in the afternoon and was won by last-to-go Austin O’Connor and the beautiful chestnut stallion Silver Don, owned by Tina Figenschall. A fluent dressage test earned them 27, while their clear showjumping round scored 37. For his conformation, Silver Don earned 11 and 8 for his type, finishing on a total score of 92, a whole 9 points clear of second-placed Bernie Wharfe and Stonehavens Penhills Cobra (83 points). Third place was awarded to Kitty King and Hazelbergs Faraono who scored 81.

“We broke him as a four-year-old and did these young horses classes last year and then gave him plenty of time to mature,” said Austin of the Silvio I x Donna Rosa stallion. “He’s done one BE90 event and the five-year-old BYEH class at Gatcombe last week, so this was only his third outing this year. He’s unbelievably well behaved and has so much ability. He’s a very exciting prospect for the future as both a stallion and event horse.”

The NAF Five Star International Hartpury Horse Trials runs from 8th to 12th August, offering world-class eventing up close and personal with the stars of the eventing world.

Admission on Thursday 9th and Friday 10th is free of charge. Saturday 11th entry is £10 and Sunday 12th tickets are £5 per person with free entry for under 16s. Parking is free across the whole event.

To stay up to date with the latest news and results, visit www.hartpuryhorsetrials.co.uk  or Facebook @hartpuryhorsetrials

Top names heading to new-look International Horse Trials

A star-studded line-up of horses and riders will face a host of fresh and exciting challenges at the new-look NAF Five Star Hartpury International Horse Trials.

Entries for the CIC*** include a number of four-star combinations in the form of Ros Canter and Allstar B, Harry Meade and Away Cruising, Tina Cook and Billy The Red, Kitty King and Ceylor Lan, Piggy French and Vanir Kamira and Alex Bragg and Zagreb.

This year’s courses, set among Hartpury’s 360-hectare campus, are set to be better than ever, with exciting changes across all three tracks for the showpiece event on 8-12 August.

Three-star course designer Eric Winter said: “This year we’ve decided to improve the public’s interaction with the course.

“We’ve removed the section that runs through the woods to bring the course more out into the open and utilise some of the other areas of the venue, including a brand new combination in front of the historic Hartpury House.

“We’ve also created flat spots to build fences and keep the course inside the main park meaning spectators can sit on the hill and watch 90 per cent of the course.

“In 2020 we have the Junior and Young Rider European Championships in dressage and eventing, so much of what we are doing now has a championship feel to it with that event in mind.”

He added: “The Hartpury House Garden combination set right in front of the house is going to be an eye-catcher, as will the Hartpury University Centre Combination incorporating a log down a steep bank to a couple of skinnies.”

Another exciting addition to this year’s event is a bus route running through the site with drop-off points and refreshment areas where spectactors can buy strawberries and cream and a coffee right by the side of the fences.

“Running the event alongside the Hartpury Summer Fair, which will take place on the Saturday, will make the event more family-friendly and showcase all that Hartpury has to offer to both horsey and non-horsey visitors,” added Eric.

Much effort has gone into preparing the ground for this year’s course after the exceptionally dry spell.

“We are aggravating the ground and watering afterwards to ensure the going is as good as can be,” said Eric.

“Hartpury has its own irrigation system in place, but we are also hiring ijn two water bowsers so we’re hitting it as hard as we can.

“Our park manager has been massively proactive in making the course smooth like a golf course, filling in holes and raking over it with sand and soil, and thankfully we’ve had some rain to help with proceedings.”

Competitors of the CCI* and CCI** events will also see major changes this year.

“The back end of the track is completely different,” says one-star and two-star designer Angus Smales.

“We hit the rail, ditch, rail in the opposite direction this year and the second half of the track is very different.

“My philosophy as a rider is that I don’t enjoy courses that are there to deliberately try and trick horse and rider, so as a designer, my courses test the range of gears and skills that you need to progress.

“These courses test the rider’s ability to create the correct canter for the obstacle.

“Everything is very fair and consistent all the way through.

“There’s a new fence located in the old golf bunker this year – an upright with two options jumping down into the bunker with a similar fence the other side of the bunker to jump out. Again, it’s an exercise rather than a trap.

“Not incorporating the woods will be better in respect of the spectator’s point of view because it is more accessible.

From a rider’s point of view it makes it easier for us to maintain the ground. This year is sure to be better than ever.”

 

Wonderful Willa tops off her Hartpury experience with a little bit of Magic

Retaining her lead from the start Willa Newton took the top spot in the Magic CCI** at the NAF Five Star International Hartpury Horse Trials.

After yesterday’s second place in the Superflex CIC*** Willa has topped off her competition by riding Moonlight Dance S into first place. With less than a fence in hand over second placed Roberto Scalisi it was all to play for but Newton kept her cool to jump clear.

Riding a superb cross-country, Willa adding just 0.4 cross country time faults to her dressage mark of 41.6 and finished on a score of 42.0. “I’m so excited for my first ever three day event win”, commented Willa. The owners, Sandpiper Syndicate, were also over the moon.

Second place after the cross country, Amelia Walker and Director General had 12 faults in the showjumping to drop to eighth place. Roberto, riding Topaze Du Plain for Italy at the first ever two-star event for both horse and rider, stepped up to finish second, staying on his dressage score of 45.2. After also jumping clear, Alicia Hawker and Nankin Des Ruettes completed the top three.

The showjumping proved to be very influential in the Recover CCI* with only 25 combinations jumping clear of the 64 pairs that got through to the final phase. Stepping up to the mark, overnight second placed Amelia Walker and her own E Boy jumped clear to put the pressure on leader Chloe Lynn riding Calzini. Unfortunately, the pair had three fences down, dropping them out of the placings to finish on a mark of 55.4.

This left Amelia to take the top spot, finishing on her dressage mark of 45.3. Mark Ford, riding Mintridge Larkspur, jumped a lovely clear to stay on their dressage mark of 45.8 to take second place whilst Lizzie Baugh and B Exclusive also had nothing to add.

Finishing in beautiful sunshine Hartpury’s Equine Director Phillip Cheetham said: “We had a wonderful 5 days of competition with horses and riders enjoying the very best of International competition here in Gloucestershire. We cannot thank the officials, Hartpury staff and volunteers enough. Without them and our sponsors NAF, it would not have been as successful as it was.”

Kitty King reigns champion of the Superflex CIC***

It was a super Saturday of competition at the NAF Five Star International Hartpury Horse Trials, as Kitty King and Vendredi Biats retain their lead to win the Superflex CIC***.

With a top dressage score of 39 and clear-round in the show jumping, King went on to fly through the cross-country into well-deserved first place. Willa Newton stepped up into second, having just added 1.2 time to move up from 10th place on a final score of 48.2. Ludwig Svennerstal was just behind, adding 2 time cross country to finish on 48.5, completing the top three podium placings.

King said: “I’m delighted with Vendredi’s performance. He’s only eight years old and has just moved up from two to three star eventing. He can really pull through my hands though and I nearly withdrew him a week ago because of it. I had a lot of support and found a new bit-combination for him that’s really worked. It was my birthday on Thursday so this is a great belated birthday present!”

Overnight’s second place, Stella Benatti, had an unlucky four faults to drop her out of the top 10 heading into the cross country. Yesterday’s joint third place competitors, Franky Reid-Warrilow riding Dolley Whisper and Lauren Kieffer aboard Veronica II, both jumped clear to set off for the final phase in joint second. Sharon Hunt and Paul Tapner both stayed on their dressage scores to take fourth and fifth place respectively, ahead of the third phase.

It was all to play for setting out on the third and final phase, with the top 14 all within 10 marks of each other. Vendredi Biats and Kitty King added just 3.2 time to finish on a score of 42.2, staying clear of the rest of the field.

It all changed for the rest of the top five as Franky picked up 9.2 time to drop to eighth place whilst Lauren and Veronica II picked up 20 penalties and 28 time to drop out of the placings.

Paul Tapner and Bonza King of Rouges moved up a place to finish in fourth on 50.2, whilst Jeanette Brakewell and Forever Red completed the top five on a score of 52.5.

There’s no change from yesterday in the placings in the Magic CCI**. It’s all go for Willa Newton as she retains her lead on Moonlight Dance S, adding just 0.4 time to her dressage score to head into the final day on 42.0. Second and third placed Amelia Walker and Roberto Scalisi both take their dressage scores of 44.7 and 45.2 into tomorrow’s showjumping.

Leading from day one in the Recover CCI*, Chloe Lynn had nothing to add after the cross country to retain her top spot ahead of tomorrow’s showjumping. Second place after the dressage, Imogen Gloag added 9.2 time to drop out of the placings, leaving Amelia Walker to move up to second place on E Boy after going clear.

Mark Ford and Mintridge Larkspur also stayed clear to head into tomorrow’s showjumping in third place on 45.3. With just a fence separating the top 10, tomorrow will be close competition. 

Tickets are still available for tomorrow (the final day of the world-famous horse trials), Sunday 12th and entry is just £5 with under 16s and parking is free.

To stay up to date with the latest news and results, visit www.hartpuryhorsetrials.co.uk  or Facebook @hartpuryhorsetrials

Further information about NAF International Hartpury Horse Trials
Facebook – www.facebook.com/pg/hartpuryhorsetrials/posts/?ref=page_internal
Twitter – https://twitter.com/hartpuryht?lang=en-gb

Further information about Hartpury
www.hartpury.ac.uk
Hartpury College is one of the UK’s leading land-based and sports colleges. The campus covers more than 360 hectares and is located near to Gloucester and Cheltenham. The college is the world’s largest equine education facility and regularly wins national titles in rugby, football, netball, rowing, modern pentathlon and golf. University Centre, Hartpury has more than 1,550 students completing foundation degrees, honours degrees and postgraduate qualifications in equine, sport and animal and agriculture.  The College also has 2,000 students studying A Levels, BTEC Diplomas and short courses.

Media contact:
Sophie Chamings

PR and Marketing Manager | Hartpury College
Email: 
sophie.chamings@hartpury.ac.uk

Kitty is King of them all on day two at Hartpury

Kitty King and Vendredi Biats top the leader board after a top day two of dressage at NAF Five Star International Hartpury Horse Trials.

It is going to be an exciting day of action tomorrow with fierce competition in the Superflex CIC***. Kitty King sits clear of the field with a dressage mark of 39.1 whilst Stella Benatti takes second place on Zaron with 43.5.

Overnight leader Franky Reid-Warrilow has dropped to third place on her score of 44.0, now joint place with American rider Lauren Kieffer and Veronica II who match Franky’s mark on 44.0. Fifth placed Sharon Hunt also received a mark of 44.0 from the judges, but drops behind with lower collective marks.

Also sitting in the top 10 are a host of experienced riders who will be hoping to stake their claim on the cross country. This includes Paul Tapner riding two horses, Andrew Nicholson, Jeanette Brakewell and Ludwig Svennerstal.

Kitty King said: “I am delighted with him – he is only eight years old so I thought he may be rather spooky but he was very soft and consistent and kept his concentration throughout.”

The previous night’s leader in the Magic CCI** was Amelia Walker riding Director General. Today she was pipped to the post by Willa Newton and Moonlight Dance S on a score of 41.6. Roberto Scalisi and Topaze Du Plain slotted into third, scoring 45.2.

In the Recover CCI*, overnight leader Chloe Lynn retained her top spot with Calzini, on a score of 43.4. There is now only one mark separating the next six places so every second will count out on the cross country tomorrow. Imogen Gloag steered Kalico into second place on a mark of 45.2 whilst Amelia Walker fills third spot, on a score of 45.3.

It’s all set to be a great day of show jumping and cross country competition tomorrow.

CCI* and CCI** cross country course designer Angus Smales said: “I’ve made some changes to the courses this year. It’s a big, bold track – brave horses will be rewarded. I’m very excited, but as my first CCI course design it is also a little nervewracking!

“Working with Eric Winter has been a lot of fun and really interesting, and the course building team has done an amazing job building the courses, as they always do.”

Tickets are still available for cross country day, Saturday 12th, at £10 per person and Sunday’s entry is just £5. Under 16s and parking is free all weekend.

To stay up to date with the latest news and results, visit www.hartpuryhorsetrials.co.uk  or Facebook @hartpuryhorsetrials

Further information about NAF International Hartpury Horse Trials
Facebook – www.facebook.com/pg/hartpuryhorsetrials/posts/?ref=page_internal
Twitter – https://twitter.com/hartpuryht?lang=en-gb

Further information about Hartpury
www.hartpury.ac.uk
Hartpury College is one of the UK’s leading land-based and sports colleges. The campus covers more than 360 hectares and is located near to Gloucester and Cheltenham. The college is the world’s largest equine education facility and regularly wins national titles in rugby, football, netball, rowing, modern pentathlon and golf. University Centre, Hartpury has more than 1,550 students completing foundation degrees, honours degrees and postgraduate qualifications in equine, sport and animal and agriculture.  The College also has 2,000 students studying A Levels, BTEC Diplomas and short courses.

Media contact:
Sophie Chamings

PR and Marketing Manager | Hartpury College
Email: sophie.chamings@hartpury.ac.uk

 

Dolley Whisper dances into top spot today at NAF Hartpury Horse Trials

Up-and-coming event rider Franky Reid-Warilow tops the leaderboard at the NAF Five Star International Hartpury Horse Trials, after the first day of dressage in the Superflex CIC***.

Photo credit: Action Replay

A European medallist, and a member of the World Class Podium Potential Programme, Franky slotted in at the top of the field for the first day of dressage on a score of 44.0, riding Dolley Whisper. Paul Tapner and Bonza King of Rouges were a close second on 45.8, whilst Willa Newton rode Neelix to third place, scoring 47.0.

There was not much separating those placed at the top of the leader board, with the top 11 all within 10 marks of each other. American rider Lauren Kieffer’s two rides of the day, Landmarks Monte Carlo and D A Duras, were both in the top 10. It will be all to play for tomorrow with more top names starting their competition.

Amelia Walker and Director General stormed the Magic CCI**, taking the top spot on a score of 44.7. Second placed was Andrew Nicholson riding Yacabo BK, achieving a score of 47.1. Jonty Evans was hot on his heels at third place on Clara M with a mark of 47.7.

In the Recover CCI* Chloe Lynn rode into the overnight lead on Calzini with a score of 43.4. Mark Ford and Mintridge Larkspur currently sit in second place on 45.8 whilst Lizzie Baugh and B Exclusive are hot on their heels to make-up the top three places on 45.9.

Tomorrow will see the remaining riders for each section take to the stage to complete their dressage tests before the weekend’s cross country and show jumping action gets underway on Saturday. The new-look-and-feel cross country course, designed by Eric Winter (CIC***) and Angus Smales (CCI* and CCI**), and built by Dominic Moore, has received lots of positive feedback from riders, sponsors and organisers.

Eric, who designed this year’s Badminton cross country course, said: “I’m so pleased with the course. Dom and his team have done a really great job. It’s really moved up a step in its look and its finish, it’s like a championship track.”

Course builder Dominic Moore added: “We’ve had a great couple of days in the final week of the event; the ground is perfect with the rain we’ve had and there is great grass coverage. We’re in for a great day of cross country on Saturday!”

Competing in the Magic CCI**, Jonty Evans said: “The course looks very impressive, the going is perfect and I’m really looking forward to riding it on Saturday.”

Admission on Friday 11th is free of charge, Saturday 12th tickets are £10 and Sunday 13th entry is just £5 per person with under 16s and parking free. To stay up to date with the latest news and results, visit www.hartpuryhorsetrials.co.uk  or Facebook @hartpuryhorsetrials

Further information about NAF International Hartpury Horse Trials
Facebook – www.facebook.com/pg/hartpuryhorsetrials/posts/?ref=page_internal
Twitter – https://twitter.com/hartpuryht?lang=en-gb

Further information about Hartpury
www.hartpury.ac.uk
Hartpury College is one of the UK’s leading land-based and sports colleges. The campus covers more than 360 hectares and is located near to Gloucester and Cheltenham. The college is the world’s largest equine education facility and regularly wins national titles in rugby, football, netball, rowing, modern pentathlon and golf. University Centre, Hartpury has more than 1,550 students completing foundation degrees, honours degrees and postgraduate qualifications in equine, sport and animal and agriculture.  The College also has 2,000 students studying A Levels, BTEC Diplomas and short courses.

Media contact:
Sophie Chamings

PR and Marketing Manager | Hartpury College
Email: sophie.chamings@hartpury.ac.uk

 

Evans ecstatic at Hartpury after securing talented event horse’s future

Day one of NAF Five Star International Hartpury Horse Trials will go down in history, as the news broke that Irish rider Jonty Evans had hit his crowdfunding target to secure his Olympic ride, Cooley Rorkes Drift.

In a time-pressured situation, where Jonty needed the horse’s ownership secured to be able to go to the European Championships with the Irish team, the public pulled through to ensure Cooley Rorkes Drift, known at home as Art, has a forever future with Evans.

Evans set up the crowdfunding campaign with the aim of raising £500,000 to buy Art, the horse that he finished in 9th place with, and best-of-the-Irish team, at the Rio Olympics. Contributing to the crowdfunding was an online auction with various lots donated to the cause. With two large donations of £150,000 and £100,000, the rest of the money was generated from the public who generously backed the cause.

Competing in two classes at the international horse trials competition, Jonty was at Hartpury when the news of the crowdfunding success hit the headlines.

He said: “I feel overwhelmed by people’s support. I was riding in the young horse class at Hartpury today and so many people were wanting to say congratulations.

“There are other riders here who I know put money in and I’m hugely grateful. It’s just an amazing feeling to know that Art is at home and staying there. The next few days at Hartpury – I’m riding a horse called Clara M in the two-star. She’s a good horse and she could go well so I need to focus on her now and get the next job done.”

The first day of the competition has been all about the stars of the future as they take centre stage to qualify for Burghley in September. The day got off to a bit of a soggy start with torrential rain for the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse 4 Year Old class. Despite the best of the British weather it was a tough competition, with an early lead established by Bernie Wharfe and Penhills Candy Man. They continued their lead throughout to win on a score of 86.

In a very close field, with the top three all finishing on 86, Harry Meade took second place aboard Castle Howard Octavian whilst Austin O’Connor, and Money Talks claimed third spot – with all three clinching qualifying places.

It brightened up for the second class of the day, the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse 5 Year Old Class, in which Armee Stunt riding Tiger Attack took top spot on 88. Vicky Brake and Don’t Tell Tom slotted into second place on a score of 85, whilst hot on her heels was Micheal Jackson and Trevargo, scoring 84, to take third place.

The NAF Five Star International Hartpury Horse Trials runs from 9th to 13th August, offering world-class eventing up close and personal with the stars of the eventing world. Excitement is already building for Saturday, which features the pinnacle of the competition – the cross country day!

Admission on Thursday 10th and Friday 11th is free of charge. Saturday 12th entry is £10 and Sunday 13th tickets are £5 per person with free entry for under 16s. Parking is free across the whole event.

To stay up to date with the latest news and results, visit www.hartpuryhorsetrials.co.uk  or Facebook @hartpuryhorsetrials

Excitement for the NAF Hartpury Horse Trials heats up as event course designers promises world-class action

Hartpury’s NAF International Horse Trials are set for an exciting weekend of action when the event rolls around in August. That’s according to course designer Eric Winter.

Winter, who is also course designer at Badminton, has put in place some exciting plans for this year’s competition, bringing a new course builder on board as well as the introduction of an up-and-coming course designer for the one and two star events.

Winter said: “There has been a real change in the feel of the courses this year. We’ve got a new designer on board and he’s bought his own ideas and thoughts and we’ve developed some exciting plans for this year.

“We’ve definitely stepped the three star up and there’s a lot to do on it. The course gets busy early; fence four is very dramatic – two trakehners on top of a bank – and then they have one let up fence, which is quite big, and then they go to the water.”

The trials will see some of the best international eventers showcasing their skills when the competition gets underway on Wednesday, 9th August. Pippa Funnell will be leading the British charge while New Zealand duo Andrew Nicholson – a former winner at the event – and Paul Tapner are also competing.

Hartpury have spent over £100,000 on irrigation for the course to ensure that the footing is perfect for the event. This investment has allowed Hartpury to water the entire course ahead of this year’s cross-country competition.

Eric added: “We’ve had an irrigation system here for a while but it didn’t cover the whole course. We’ve updated this now and we’ll be able to cover the whole course to make sure that the footing is right.”

Competitors in the CCI* and CCI** events are in for a surprise with new course designer Angus Smales and course builder, Dom Moore’s ambitious plans.

“Early on the balance of the track really changes,” Smales said. “We’ve stuck to the original routes as there has been a ground management process in place for a while but as a designer I wanted to change to flow of the course so that it was different.”

Smales and Moore have described their cross-country courses at Hartpury this year as ‘big and bold’ and the pair have some exciting plans for continuing to develop the flow of the course over the coming years.

Moore said: “We’ve moved away from previous years and gone to lots of things which involve more turning questions and using the terrain but with big, bold fences. In the past there hasn’t been the flexibility to do this.”

“Our long term plan is to run the course in the opposite direction,” Smales added on the duo’s plans to revamp the course.

Spectators will have a unique experience at the event according to Eric Winter, who says Hartpury’s competition provides something you won’t get at many events.

“We also have some great horses here – World Championship and Olympic horses – and it’s unusual when you can sit in one spot and watch them jump from the third fence, right the way round the course,” Winter said.

“You see the story of the competition unfold in front of you, which is always an exciting thing. It’s the best of eventing when you can watch it like that.”

Tickets to the event are free for under-16s all week while everyone else can buy tickets to the must-see event here.