As droves of people head to Stonehenge to celebrate the longest day of the year (21 June), the entry list for nearby Barbury Castle Horse Trials (8 – 9 July) gets ever longer. No less than six British world championship squad and reserve members have entered, as well as Britain’s 10 short-listed young riders.
And tennis and football fans need not shy away from a trip to the horse trials; spectators at Barbury will be able to watch live coverage of Wimbledon and the World Cup on screens at the venue, whilst enjoying live action from one of Britain’s premier league events.
The inaugural Maybach Barbury Castle Horse Trials took place last year, and its distinctive Stonehenge fence (pictured) will be appearing again in the CIC three-star section. More than 450 entries have been received, 130 of these being in the CIC three-star. British world championship squad/squad reserve combinations Daisy Dick (Spring Along), William Fox-Pitt (Tamarillo); Mary King (Call Again Cavalier) have all entered, along with Oliver Townend (Flint Curtis), Sharon Hunt (Tankers Town) and Polly Stockton (Tom Quigley).
Britain’s 10 short-listed Young Riders will be competing in Barbury’s Open Novice Section on the Saturday (8 July) as a final run before the Young Rider European Championships in Pardubice (4-6 August 2005). After a trot-up on the Sunday morning, the final team list will be announced at Barbury on Sunday afternoon. Short listed Junior Riders will also be competing in Barbury’s Open Novice section in front of a panel of selectors, in the run up to the Championships at Necarne Castle, Ireland (14 – 17 September).
The event, which is now part of the British Evening Premier League, alongside Badminton and Burghley, takes place at Barbury Castle, a former hill fort near Marlborough. Set in a natural amphitheatre with spectacular viewing, this year’s cross country course will finish in the main arena, bringing spectators even closer to the action.
Former Olympic gold medallist David Green designed the cross-country course which has been built by the Willis brothers. The Stonehenge fence includes uprights made from solid oak wood and sarsen stones from around the Barbury Castle Estate.
For more information on The Maybach Barbury Castle Horse Trials, visit: www.barburyhorsetrials.co.uk