Course-designer Ian Stark has been very innovative with the route for the cross-country for the Longines FEI European Eventing Championships at Blair.

Regular visitors to the Scottish site will notice that the track goes in a completely different direction to the usual challenge. It starts in a different place, takes in fresh ground and offers new ways of tackling old problems — for example, at the water at fences 11ab/12ab horses and riders go through the pond in the opposite direction to normal.

Here’s the start box, branded for title sponsor Longines.

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Fence 1: Longines Flower Display

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Fence 2: Mitsubishi L200s

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After fence 2, horses and riders start climbing from the flat of the showground up into the hills. They keep going upwards until fence four, when they start to run back downhill.

Fence 3: Kilchoman Whisky Barrels Spread

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Fence 4abc: House of Bruar Shepherds’ Bothies

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Fence 4a

Blair-4aFence 4b

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Fence 4c

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Fence 5: British Horse Society Scotland Olympic Diamond

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After fence 5, competitors take a helter-skelter track through the wood.

Fence 6: Wychanger Barton Post & Rails Gate

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Fence 7: The Toro Company Leaf Pit Drop

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Fence 7 (side view)

7-2sideFence 7 alternative

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Fence 8ab: Voltaire Design Hanging Logs and Water Splash

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Fence 8b

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Fence 8a alternative

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Fence 8b alternative

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Fence 9: Bedmax Silver Birch Oxer

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Another section in woodland follows fence 9.

Fence 10: MAM Construction Wind Blown Tree

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Fence dressing detail on the back of fence 10

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Fence 11ab: Longines Lochan

Fence 11a

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Fence 11b

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Fence 12ab: Longines Fisherman’s Dream

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Fence 12b

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Fence 12ab alternative

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The next fence is a let-up after the challenges of the water — but there is still a sharp uphill pull to reach it.

Fence 13: Equine & Country Picnic Table

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Fence 14ab: Atholl Estates Castle Wall and Cannon

Fence 14a

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Fence 14b

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Fence 14b alternative

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Fence 15: Pol Roger Stag Heads

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After this fence competitors run back down onto the showground and into the main arena.

Fence 16ab: UK Sport Corners

Fence 16a

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Fence 16a right side

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Fence 16a left side

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Fence 16b

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Fence 17: Joules Brush Arrowhead

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Fence 17b alternative

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Fence 18ab and 19ab: Gilkes Firth of Forth Crossings and The Malcolm Group Lochan and Corner (fly through video of this fence at top of page)

Fence 18a

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Looking over fence 18a to fence 18b

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Fence 18b

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Fence 18b alternative

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Looking over fence 18b to fence 19ab

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Fence 19a

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Fence 19a alternative

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Fence 19b

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Fence 20: Baileys Horse Feeds Aintree Steeplechase Fence

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This fence is by the start, so horses may feel like they have finished. However, they are off on another long pull uphill to fence 21ab/22.

Fence 21ab/22: Albert Bartlett Haggis, Neeps and Tatties

Fence 21a

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Looking over fence 21a to 21b

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Fence 21b

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Looking over fence 21b to fence 22

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Fence 22

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After this fence, horses and riders are on the final run home and there are no more serious hills to climb.

Fence 23/24ab: Irish Horse Gateway Rails and Ditch Complex

Fence 23

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Fence 23 alternative

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Looking over fence 23 to fences 24ab

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Fence 25: Clark Thomson Trakhener

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Fence 26: EventScotland Hanging Keyhole

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Fence 26 side view

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Fence 26 alternative

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Fence 27/28: Strzegom 2017 Offset Brushes

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Looking over fence 27 to fence 28

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Fence 28

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Fence 29: Longines Final Fling

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Full report from the European Championships at Blair in H&H next week, out Thursday, 17 September — 19 pages of analysis and photographs, plus columns from Harry Meade and Mike Etherington-Smith.