Greenwich Park is being transformed into an elite equestrian venue over the next few weeks in preparation for the equestrian and modern pentathlon test events (4-8 July).

An area in front of the Old Royal Naval College has been fenced off and around 60 people are working to create the elements needed for the CIC** eventing competition and modern pentathlon World Cup.

The portable jumps for the cross-country course will arrive just before the event.

“It’s great to be able to get started,” venue general manager Jeremy Edwards told H&H. “This is a great venue.”

Hundreds of metal legs have been put in place to create a flat platform for the 85x75m showjumping arena.

The system was chosen by the organising committee to avoid having to dig into the turf.

Alan Revell of The Structure Group, which is installing the platform, said: “This is the first time it has been used for an equestrian competition, but it is frequently used in athletics.”

It will be covered with a drainage layer, capable of dealing with a “100-year storm event” and topped with the Andrews Bowen ProWax surface.

“The arena contractors are fitting the surface concurrently to minimise the construction time,” said equestrian competition manager Tim Hadaway.

Forty-five horses will compete in the horse trials and a further 50 in the modern pentathlon.

See pictures of the venue being prepared

This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (2 June, 2011)