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Cornish estate hopes to host BE horse trials

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The Port Eliot estate in Cornwall – home to a cult literary festival – has had a cross-country course built in the grounds.

It has just run its first hunter trial and hopes to host one of the first British Eventing (BE) horse trials in the county for many years.

More than 200 riders took part in its first event, the East Cornwall’s hunter trial, on 8 September, and pronounced the course a success.

“It rode really well and we had lots of good feedback,” said local eventer Tamsyn Hutchins, who designed the course.

“I had a total blank canvas as they have never had equestrian events before.

We had [Badminton course-builders] Willis Brothers come down to fix some of the portables and they said it looked fantastic.”

The East Cornwall plans to run another hunter trial and an unaffiliated one-day event and then, “hopefully, BE”.

“We don’t have a single BE event in Cornwall ,” said Ms Hutchins. “The nearest is Bicton [Devon].”

Port Eliot is the home of the Earl and Countess of St Germans and is unusual in that the park, as well as the house, is Grade I listed.

Catherine St Germans told H&H that the course was “beyond our expectations”.
“The scale of Port Eliot lends itself very well; the park is a natural ampitheatre and it looks so dramatic,” she said.

BE regional co-ordinator Pattie Biden said she was “always pleased” to hear from people hoping to hold an event.

“We haven’t had one in Cornwall for a while, although there is a new event running near Launceston next year, so we are waiting to see how that works out,” she said.

This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (20 September 2012)