The Horse & Hound unaffiliated three-day event is back for 2018 – and is set to be bigger and better than before.

After the success of last year’s inaugural grassroots event, it is returning with a new name — the Horse & Hound Festival of Eventing at Keysoe — and will run from 25 to 28 May.

As was the case last year, the aim is to provide a championship feel to the competition, with classes at 70, 80, 90 and 100cm and some fantastic prizes on offer.

“It’s going to be wonderful,” said Simon Bates, owner of The College EC in Keysoe, Bedfordshire.

“We were very pleased with how last year went and we’re looking forward to welcoming everyone back again for a even bigger and better event.”

Mr Bates said there are plans to develop the cross-country by bringing the course through the main arena.

“That should give it even more of a feel of a bigger event,” he said.

“We learned a lot last year but felt the length and level of the course were about right; horses were finishing in a comfortable state, so I think it’ll be about the same this year, just snazzed up a bit.

“It’s a really fun weekend. It’s good value, as you get your entries, stabling and entertainment all included; it’s a good package.”

The unaffiliated three-day event will be reported extensively, both on H&H online and in the magazine.

“The Horse & Hound Grassroots Eventing Championships were a huge success in their inaugural year in 2017 – the feedback from competitors was incredible,” said H&H magazine and eventing editor Pippa Roome.

“We look forward to making the H&H Festival of Eventing even bigger and better this year and giving grassroots competitors a chance to compete in a real big event atmosphere.”

H&H marketing manager Nicola McClure was onsite throughout last year’s championships.

“It was wonderful to meet so many H&H readers, and hear their stories of their road to the event and then witness their enjoyment on taking part in this event,” she said.

“It was clear that for many the event wasn’t about winning, but the opportunity to experience the unique atmosphere of a stay-away show and enjoy the entertainment on offer and meet new friends. We therefore felt that the Horse & Hound Festival of Eventing was a more fitting name to reflect an event that allows riders to not only be recognised if they do well, but is a chance for everyone that takes part to have a great weekend away enjoying the sport and we can’t wait to bring this event to our readers in 2018.”

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Full schedule details are to be announced in the near future.

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