Gatcombe’s unique atmosphere ensures it remains as popular with riders and spectators now as it has always been, with its undulating terrain providing great viewing for visitors while challenging riders of all levels.

The Doubleprint Festival of British Eventing will see horses at all stages in their eventing careers competing over Captain Mark Phillips’s cross-country tracks in the three British National Championships.

The British Novice and Intermediate Championships feature the best young horses in the country, while the Advanced (Open) Championships, with its thrilling cross-country phase in reverse order of merit, is a truly high-class international competition.

This year’s Open class includes entries from three former British champions. Last year’s champion Pippa Funnell has Primmore’s Pride, William Fox-Pitt is aiming to impress on Moon Man, while Mary King is going for a record fifth win with King Solomon III.

The 1989 British champion, Rodney Powell, has two entered, including the talented 14-year-old Flintstone IV, who will bid to make a comeback after his third place at Badminton in 2000.

As well as top class eventing at every level, the weekend promises a feast of family entertainment with displays in the main ring including falconry, the Royal Signals White Helmets motorcycle display team, dressage to music, a gun dog display, polo with the Beaufort Polo Club and a parade of the Royal Agricultural College Beagles.

Tickets are available on the gate from £6 on Friday and £10 on Saturday/Sunday. For more information (tel: 01937 541811) or visit: www.gatcombe-horse.co.uk

Getting to Gatcombe

M4: J15, take A419 to Stroud. From J17, take A429 to Malmesbury, B4014 through Tetbury. From J18, take A46 to Stroud, follow signs to Minchinhampton.

M5: J13, take A419 to Stroud, then follow signs to the event.

Dogs are welcome, but must be kept on leads at all times.

Doubleprint Festival of British Eventing timetable

Friday, 1 August

Dressage arena: novice championship and advanced 9am
Young event horse arena: young event horse classes 8am
Main arena: Pony Club team jumping 8.50am; young event horse final 11.30am

Saturday, 2 August

Dressage arena: all sections 8am
Main arena: show jumping — novice championship 7.45am; advanced 9.45am; displays 1.25pm; prize-giving 5.30pm
Cross-country: novice championship 11am; advanced 1pm

Sunday, 3 August

Dressage arena: intermediate & open championships 8am
Main arena: show jumping — intermediate & open championships 8am; displays 2.05pm; prize-giving 5.20pm
Cross-country: intermediate championship 11am; open championship 1.45pm

Gatcombe’s all time greats

2002 Mallard’s Treat A Nicholson NZL
British champion Primmore’s Pride P Funnell
2001 CANCELLED (FMD)
2000 Moon Man W Fox-Pitt
1999 Word For Word M Todd NZL
British champion Westlord P Clark
1998 Ready Teddy B Tait NZL
British champion Too Smart K Dixon
1997 Darien Powers A Hoy AUS
British champion King Solomon III M King
1996 King William M King
1995 Chaka W Fox-Pitt
1994 Too Smart K Dixon
1993 Lighter Than Air D O’Connor USA
British champion Welton Houdini G Leng
1992 Sir Barnaby P Nolan
1991 King William M Thomson
1990 King Boris M Thomson
1989 Bahlua M Todd NZL
British champion The Irishman II R Powell
1988 Charisma M Todd NZL
British champion The Gamesmaster R Lemieux
1987 Night Cap II V Leng
1986 JJ Babu B Davidson USA
British champion Night Cap II V Leng
1985 Charisma M Todd NZL
1984 Village Gossip L Green
1983 Mairangi Bay D Green AUS