More than 25 years after hosting its first horse trials, the Highclere Estate in Berkshire – the location for the popular ITV series Downton Abbey – has called time on the event, due to “other commitments“.
The event and more than 48 of the cross-country fences, will be moved to Highfield Farm on the Duke of Wellington’s estate at Stratfield Saye, Hants.
Renamed the KBIS Wellington Horse Trials, it will be organised by the same team.
It will run from 25-27 August and will continue to put on classes at BE100, intermediate and advanced level.
The course will be designed by Eric Winter and built by Adrian Ditcham.
“It is really exciting to be designing three completely new courses on this lovely old pasture,” said Eric.
“This is a natural piece of ground to build a course on, as it has plenty of gently rolling hills with lots of dips and hollows in which to create some exciting new features.
“We are just about to start the groundwork for the new banks and ditches and, of course, the water. It’s looking great.”
Highclere organiser Guy Prest said: “We are extremely grateful to everyone who supported the event at Highclere, whether as a rider, spectator or volunteer.
“We very much hope they continue to be a part of the event at its new venue.”
Georgie Davies, who won BE100 section F with Jenga last year, told H&H: “It’s really sad, Highclere was one of my favourite events.
“It always rode really well and was a most beautiful setting. It’s a real loss.”
This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (8 March 2012)