Knowing what to expect when you turn up at a venue can take a weight off your mind, and ease the competition stress — whether it’s finding out where you can park, warm-up or get some lunch.

Take a look at H&H’s guide to some of the top competition venues across the country:

1. The College EC (Keysoe), Befordshire

  • Hard-standing parking
  • The centre has both indoor and outdoor warm-up areas
  • Food and drink is available all day — the onsite café opens 1 hour before the 1st horse goes into the arena and remains open for an hour after the last horse has competed
  • Follow directions to the centre from the website rather than satnav — to avoid traffic in Bedford town centre

2. Port Royal EEC, Yorkshire

  • This centre offers plenty of parking, with 100 spaces on hard standing and additional spaces on grass
  • Hot and cold food is available for the duration of the day — the café opens with the 1st arrival and does not shut until the last competitor has left the show ground
  • The centre is very accessible, with the M62 just 5 miles away
  • It is set in quiet farming surroundings

3. Forest Edge Arena, Norfolk

  • Plenty of hard-standing parking is available
  • The centre has showers for riders, £2 for 10 minutes
  • It is recommended you follow the map from the centre’s website rather than satnav
  • For cold competition days, for spectators there is a warm “snug” area with a woodburner that overlooks the indoor arena

4. Norton Heath EC, Essex

  • There is a choice of 1 indoor and 2 outdoor warm-up areas
  • The café opens at 7am offering freshly cooked meals and closes at the end of the show, there is also an onsite bar (that opens at 10am)
  • The centre is easily accessed from the A414 and is signposted from the lane
  • For those last-minute bits of competition equipment there is an on-site feed and tackshop

5. Addington Manor EC, Buckinghamshire

  • The centre has plenty of hard-standing parking for horseboxes
  • There are a range of arenas for competition days — including 2 indoor and 4 outdoor
  • There is free use of the showers in the stableblock
  • It is best to approach the centre from the A413, especially with a horsebox or trailer

6. Oldencraig EC, Surrey

  • There are 2 large, floodlit hard-standing car parks for at least 100 horseboxes
  • The onsite eatery is a 72-seater bistro, open on show days from 8am until the end of the show
  • The centre is easily accessed, being just 10 minutes off the M25 and is signposted from the road
  • It boasts an onsite tackshop

7. Ingliston EC, Renfrewshire

  • The centre has 2 indoor and outdoor arenas, plus a grass arena that is used for warm-up and for competitions
  • There is a choice of onsite eateries — a bistro and wine bar can be booked for a full dinner, alternatively riders can pick up a smaller meal at the other eatery
  • It is easy to find and just 10 minutes from Glasgow airport and offers rider and equine accommodation
  • For those wanting to spoil themselves, the site also has a beauty salon and clothing boutique

Do you have a local show centre that you really rate? Let us know where it is and why it’s so great below…

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