The cross country course at Blenheim Horse Trials will be ridden in reverse this year (11-14 September) for the first time since its inception in 1990.

New fences and a new selection through the woods have also been added to the CCI*** for 2008, built by David Evans and his team.

Blenheim’s iconic ‘flyer’ brush and ditch fence (pictured) is back at the entrance to the trade stands while the course still runs through the River Glyme across the river bridges and water fences.

Eric Winter, who took over from Mike Etherington-Smith as Blenheim’s course designer in 2007 said: “I love the way Blenheim runs through the public areas, it gives everybody a real connection with the speed and the questions faced by the riders and their horses so I wanted to keep this intact.

“I came to the conclusion that the only way I was going to achieve a significant change and not lose the outstanding qualities it already possess was to turn the whole course around completely. In the future we will run in alternate directions each year.

“To follow a great designer like Mike Etherington-Smith is a mixed blessing, you have a very successful competition already which is brilliant but it is also difficult to change for the better.

“As a course designer you always want to put your own stamp on any course you design. Not to lose the good points and yet do something inventive is the challenge.”

Audio course buggy tours are available explaining Eric’s thoughts and objectives for £5.

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