Some might call it the Mecca of British equestrian sport. Whether this is true or not, Gloucestershire provides riders with everything they need by the bucket-load. Property expert Carla Passino explains why this county is the place to be when it comes to eventing and dressage.

Why should I choose Gloucestershire for my eventing and dressage needs?

Both dressage and eventing are incredibly strong in Gloucestershire. Home to three major horse trials, the county is practically a synonym for eventing. Having said that, dressage is equally well represented, with three out of four Olympic gold medallists based in the county.

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Which top riders can I expect to see out and about around here?

Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin are located near Newent, while Laura Tomlinson is in Ampney St Peter. Flying the flag for eventing, Zara Phillips lives at the Gatcombe Park Estate while New Zealander Tim Rusbridge is near Hartpury College.

Where can I get competitive?

You can have your pick of horse trials from Badminton and Hartpury International to the Festival of British Eventing and Gatcombe International, plus many smaller events. Hartpury College also hosts the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships, the Festival of Dressage, the Senior Home International team competition and several other affiliated and unaffiliated events.

Other disciplines are pretty well catered for too, with Hartpury College’s Showjumping Spectacular and polo at the Cirencester and Beaufort Polo Clubs.

Where can I hone my skills?

Pammy Hutton’s Talland School of Equitation in Ampney Knowle near Cirencester offers world-class lessons in dressage, showjumping and cross-country. Training is also available at Hartpury College, and at Matt Frost and Adam Kemp’s AM Dressage in Elton.

How much can I expect to pay for a property?

Estate agents Butler Sherborn are asking about £1 million for a detached four-bedroom house with an American-style barn, horse walker and manège set in just under 12 acres in Moreton-in-Marsh.

Ref: Horse & Hound; 28 May 2015