We may be more accustomed to muddy gateways and burger vans, but there’s a whole other world out there of crystal chandeliers, fur and snow-capped mountains

Manfred Swarovski Memorial Show

Where? Schindlhof, Fritzens, Austria
What? Dressage shows don’t happen in more stunning locations than this, at the Haim-Swarovski family’s stud in the Austrian Tyrol, 3,000 feet above sea level.
Visit: www.schindlhof

Breeders’ Cup, Santa Anita

Where? Los Angeles, California
What? The Breeders’ Cup, which bills itself as the “world championships” of Flat racing, takes place each November (it’s at Keeneland in Kentucky this year). But it returns to Santa Anita in California in 2016, and it’s a trip every racing fan should make once — at least.
Visit: www.breederscup.com

Continued below…

Saut Hermès

Where? The Grand Palais, Paris
What? Three days of top-level showjumping in the centre of Paris. This is the French
luxury brand Hermès’ own show, demonstrating its equestrian heritage. As you would expect, the only shopping is Hermès, but if you can’t afford a scarf, or one of their signature wrist cuffs, you can buy a bar of Hermès saddle soap…
Visit: www.sauthermes.com

Snow Polo World Cup

Where? St Moritz, Switzerland
What? Three days of polo on St Moritz’s frozen lake. It’s exceptionally beautiful and — before the sun comes up over the mountains — seriously cold, which explains why fur is de rigeur.
Visit: www.snowpolo-stmoritz.com

Deauville

Where? Deauville, Normandy
What? Although there’s racing at Deauville for most of the year, August is the time to go. There’s a month-long programme of racing, thoroughbred sales and high-goal polo in this extremely chic yet relaxed seaside town. The highlights are the Prix Jacques Le Marois on 16 August — a Group One over a mile that attracts the best European horses, while there are two Group Ones on 23 August and the Grand Prix de Deauville on 30 August. The yearling sale (15-17 August) is the first of the season, and these beautifully-bred creatures fetch fortunes.
Visit: www.meetingdedeauville.com

GCT Miami

Where? Miami Beach, Florida
What? The Longines Global Champions Tour consists of 14 showjumping events all over the world in glamorous locations including Antwerp, Cannes and Doha. Miami Beach was added to the roster this year and was a huge hit.
Visit: www.globalchampionstour.com

Read the full feature about swanky equestrian venues in this week’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine (16 July 2015)