With the weather forecast looking good (a whopping 26 degrees on Friday), there are plenty of reasons to stock up on suncream (and maybe a mac for Sunday) and make the trip to Wiltshire for this year’s Barbury International Horse Trials (9-12 July 2015).
1. Get a glimpse of Andrew Nicholson and Avebury
With three consecutive wins in the CIC3* competition at Barbury, all eyes will be on this duo.
2. Big names
The European Championships at Blair Castle are looming (10-13 September) and Barbury is a good chance to catch Britain’s top combinations in action ahead of it. Eyes peeled for the likes of William Fox-Pitt on Bay My Hero and Oliver Townend on Fenyas Elegance.
3. The return of AP McCoy (in a different guise…)
On Saturday (11 July), 20-times champion jockey AP McCoy will be back in the saddle, leading a team of jockeys in the JCB Champions Challenge — a unique race over a specially designed course including a water jump. The jockeys will be taking on a team of eventers, led by Andrew Nicholson, as well as the winning junior and senior teams from the inter-hunt relay. Prime time viewing.
4. Support your hunt
Catch the thrills and spills of the inter hunt team relay final in the main arena on Saturday (11 July).
5. Do your bit for charity
Put some money in the pot for this year’s named chairty, The Injured Jockeys Fund. Since it was founded in 1964 it has helped over 1000 jockeys and their families and has paid out more than £22m in charitable assistance.
6. The sheep show
Dubbed the “Miss World of sheep”, Saturday and Sunday’s sheep show — “a live show of sheep breeds and shearing” — needs to be at the top of your must-see list… even just for the novelty factor.
7. Cameras at the ready
Set in 1,850 acres of picture-perfect Wiltshire countryside, the natural amphitheatre on the Barbury Caste Estate means you can see every fence on the cross-country track.
8. Retail therapy
With over 50 stalls in the shopping village — selling everything from saddlery and jewellery to dog leads and bronze sculptures — keeping your credit card at bay might be a struggle…
Tickets cost £15 on Friday and £20 Saturday and Sunday on the gate, with no charge for car parking. Children under 12 years go free.
For more information and tickets visit www.barburyhorsetrials.co.uk