New Northumberland event plugs hole left by Hexham’s demise

  • British Eventing (BE) has avoided a hole in the Northumberland eventing schedule by securing a replacement for Hexham Horse Trials.

    Belsay Castle, also in Northumberland, will be the new venue for the event, which will be known as Belsay Horse Trials, and it has retained the same weekend in the BE calendar (1-2 June 2013).

    A statement on the Hexham Horse Trials website reads: “For financial reasons [land owners Bobby and Sarah Charlton] are making changes to their farming policy.

    “Every effort has been made on their part to accommodate the horse trials in their new operation but, with the greatest regret, they have had to concede that it will simply not be possible.”

    Hexham joint-organisers Edward and Jane Pybus, will team up with Peter and Laura de Wesselow, who live at Belsay, to run the new event.

    “The beautiful parkland surrounding the 14th century castle at Belsay is absolutely perfect for a horse trials and we are very grateful to the Belsay Charitable Trust for allowing us to use this historic venue,” said Mr Pybus.

    And Mrs de Wesselow added: “My family bred and trained racehorses here in the 18th and 19th centuries and even won the St Leger at Doncaster in 1859 with a horse called Gamester. So, it is very exciting that we are bringing eventing to Belsay.”

    International course designer Ronald Alexander has designed the BE90, BE100 and novice sections for 2013, as well as the infrastructure for the intermediate section, which will commence in 2014.

    And work is about to start on the course, which is being built by experienced BE accredited builder Peter Wilson.

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