If you’ve ever marvelled at the setting of Blenheim Horse Trials — with the palace positioned in front of the main arena — you will be hard pushed to resist a return visit.
And at this year’s event (12-15 September 2013) the stars of our European Eventing Championships squad will be in action including Tina Cook, William Fox-Pitt, Pippa Funnell, Izzy Taylor and Lucy Wiegersma.
More than 150 top riders, representing 16 nations, will be battling it out for the Blenheim CCI3* title and the 8-and-9-year-old horse CIC3* championships.
Pippa Funnell will be campaigning for her 5th Blenheim CCI title — and last year’s winner William Fox-Pitt will hoping to add to his tally of 3 wins.
Course designer Eric Winter has added new fences to this year’s cross-country — which will take place on both Saturday and Sunday — including a combination of dragons coming out of the famous river crossing.
New for 2013 will be a field and hunt masters gate competition on the Saturday — run along the lines of the eventers high jump, which will be held on the Sunday.
In both these events, riders who knock a fence have the chance to buy an extra life by removing their saddle or a piece of clothing and jumping the fence again.
On top of finding time to pay the shopping village a visit, you’ll be able to consult equine experts in the new learning area, which will be running free lectures and demonstrations.
And if you want to know what backstage at London 2012 was really like, the British eventing team’s chef d’equipe Yogi Breisner will be speaking at a lunch on Thursday (12 September). Tickets are still available, with donations going to Macmillan Cancer Support.
For more information about the event, including ticket prices and how to get there, visit www.blenheim-horse.co.uk
Don’t miss our full Blenheim report in the 19 September issue of Horse & Hound magazine, where we’ll look at all the action in full detail