A month-long equine event is to be launched next August (2008) at the East of England (EoE) showground in Peterborough. Hosted by the EoE Agricultural Society, which owns the showground, Equifest hopes to showcase the work and horses of about 20 breed societies and equestrian organisations.

Betsy Branyan, the event’s co-ordinator, said: “The aim is for two or three smaller organisations and societies — who would be charged less than the normal commercial rate — to host either a breed show or their championship show every day. Then the evening performances will be a culmination of the different societies’ major championships and produce more interesting classes.” The performances, which will be free to the public, will take place in the new 60,000sq ft exhibition centre, built as part of the showground’s recent £8million expansion programme (news, 25 January).

The facilities include hardstanding parking space for 2,000 cars or 1,500 lorries and, Ms Branyan said, good drainage. “We’ve had nothing cancelled this year and there have been lots of big events on,” she said. During Equifest, which the EoE plans to stage annually, 500 semi-permanent stables will be made available, with further temporary stabling for larger shows.

Ms Branyan said 20 societies had been invited to participate, but as H&H went to press none were confirmed.

Chief executive of the British Show Jumping Association (BSJA) Jacky Wood said she was looking forward to touring the new facilities.“It’s a good venue and with all the recent additions it will be even more attractive [to competitors and organisers],” she said. For more information (tel: 01733 234451).