Top class eventing might be the reason you booked your tickets for this year’s Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials (13-17 September 2017), but there’s no point pretending that you haven’t spent as long mapping out the shopping village as you have looking at the cross-country course. Here’s our guide to the best pick of the shops this year...
You’ll think your boots/ chaps/ breeches are in fine nick — until you step inside the Ariat stand, when you’ll swiftly be wondering how you can justify having a splurge.
Can’t make it to Blenheim? Visit ariat.com
2. Brass tacks
After spending the day lusting over three-star event horses who may as well be a different species to your horse back at home, the least you can do it take them back a present — and a brass nameplate could be just the ticket.
Can’t make it to Blenheim? Visit brasstacksonline.co.uk
The smell of leather will be enough to lure us into the Devoucoux stand, before we set about picking out our dream saddle (and wondering how we’re going to pay for it…)
Can’t make it to Blenheim? Visit: devoucoux.com
4. Fairfax and Favour
Winter is coming which means it’s fair game to invest in a new pair of boots, and we have our eye on the suede Athena Chelsea model — on point for the The Showcase at Cheltenham next month (27-28 October).
Can’t make it to Blenheim? Visit: fairfaxandfavor.com
It’s a well known fact that shopping is one of life’s more exhausting pursuits, which is why we’ll be making multiple pit stops at Flapjackery (it’s going to be a toss up between the Devon toffee with chocolate swirls flapjack or the salted caramel fudge brownie).
Can’t make it to Blenheim? Visit: flapjackery.co.uk
6. Gun dog gin
However good you are at positive thinking, there are some days on the yard that are so dire that stronger measures are needed. Step forward Gun dog gin — a range of gin-based liqueurs made using traditional methods in Herefordshire.
Can’t make it to Blenheim? Visit: gundoggin.co.uk
7. Hunting vintage
The leaves are turning and the temperature is dropping — which means you need to hotfoot it to Hunting Vintage, which specialises in tweed jackets and hunt coats, as well as supplying vintage whips and a stellar range of saddle bags and flasks.
Can’t make it to Blenheim? Visit: huntingvintage.co.uk
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Transport yourself to sunnier climes in the Pampeano stand with its range of South American polo belts and bags — the perfect present for any long-suffering husbands/ wives/ boyfriends/ girlfriends who have nearly made it to the end of the eventing season…
Can’t make it to Blenheim? Visit: pampeano.co.uk
Ogling at the line-up of state-of-the-art horseboxes is a mild form of torture, but one we’re willing to endure. When our Lottery ticket comes right, we have our name on the Super Luxury 26T.
Can’t make it to Blenheim? Visit: equicruiser.co.uk
Don’t miss our full report from Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials in the 21 September issue of Horse & Hound magazine