Burgie Horse Trials will run two new British Eventing (BE) classes this year. The Scottish event (14-17 June) will host a “taster” three-day event in which riders will tackle 85cm or 1m fences, plus the first ever pre-novice two-day event.

The long-format taster three-day event has developed after organiser Polly Lochore ran a riding club three-day event with 60 entries alongside international classes last year.

“We thought about how it could be improved and formalised,” explained BE’s Scotland and Northern regional director, Iain Graham. “The best way to give these riders a good experience was to run this as a BE competition.”

Mr Graham added that the initiative may be extended outside the northern Scotland area, where there is insufficient unaffiliated competition to meet local demand.

Taster three-day event entrants do not have to be members of any affiliated body. The entry fee is £70 and non-BE members pay a £30 start fee, rather than £15 for BE members on registered horses, to cover their BE day ticket. This means the taster event costs at least £50 less to enter than a BE pre-novice three-day event.

Burgie’s taster event has a novice section, for less experienced horses, and an open intermediate. Competitors will perform riding club dressage tests, with cross-country and show jumping fences at 85cm for the novice and 1m for the open intermediate. They will ride roads and tracks and steeplechase before the cross-country.

The taster event has dressage on Friday only, so riders do not have to take much time off — a BE aim for pre-novice two-day events.

BE spokeswoman Winnie Murphy said: “The pre-novice three-day events last year weren’t as successful as we hoped, so we said events could run pre-novice two-day events to give people a taste of roads and tracks.”

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This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (31 May, ’07)