The equestrian extravaganza at this year's Horse of the Year Show (4-8 October 2017) got underway this morning — so programmes at the ready and start circling your must-see classes and attractions

1. Puissance

When is it? Saturday 7 October
What to expect: It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve watch the Puissance, it will have you creeping to the edge of your seat, covering your eyes and squealing with amazement (in equal measure) as the horses and riders push their limits over the iconic red wall.

2. Mounted games

When is it? The mounted games action kicked off this morning (4 October) in the Andrews Bowen International Arena, and the sessions run during each daytime and evening session, until Sunday evening when the team with the most points will clinch the coveted Prince Philip Cup.
What to expect: Standby for a severe bout of agility envy as the ponies and riders whip up and down the arena, navigating the varying obstacles at breakneck speed.

3. Trade stands

When are they open?
Wednesday: 9am–9pm
Thursday: 9am–9pm
Friday: 9am–9pm
Saturday: 9am–9pm
Sunday: 9am–8pm
What to expect: Get ready to splurge, with over 250 trade stands to work your way around, with everything from tack and clothing to gourmet food and crafts. And when you’re so laden down you’re struggling to fit back in your seat, make the most of the bag drop offs.

4. HOYS Live Zone

When is it open? Events run from 10am-5pm.
What to expect: New for 2017, the HOYS Live Zone has a line up of impressive guest speakers, interactive sessions, celebrity rider signings and talks from leading industry experts. Autograph books at the ready.

5. Dressage masterclass with Charlotte Dujardin

When is it? Thursday 5 October
What to expect: We’ve all dreamed of having a dressage lesson with Olympic gold medallist Charlotte Dujardin — and you can come pretty close at this year’s show with her masterclass, when Charlotte will put several riders through their paces whilst sharing some invaluable training tips and competition advice.

6. Atkinson Action Horses

When is it? The display takes place on every day of the show.
What to expect: Prepare to be mind boggled by this latest display from the Atkinson Action Horses, aptly named ‘Limitless’, as they wow the crowds with a theatrical performance, showcasing an array of film stunts.

Continued below…

7. SEIB Search for a Star Championship

When is it? Friday 6 October
What to expect: We challenge you not to be inspired by the final for the SEIB Search for a Star series. Every amateur showing rider and producer dreams of riding at HOYS, and this is their moment…

8. Ruckleigh School Supreme Pony of the Year Championship and Ripon Select Foods Supreme Horse of the Year Championship

When are they? Sunday 8 October
What to expect: The show reaches a climax when the supreme horse and pony of the year are crowned and strut their stuff under that iconic spotlight. Who will be this year’s stars?

Haven’t bought a ticket yet? Visit hoys.co.uk

Don’t miss our full report from Horse of the Year Show, with expert analysis of all the action, in the 12 October 2017 issue of Horse & Hound magazine