Today’s top tip: visit Barbury Horse Trials

  • Looking for something to do this weekend? Barbury International Eventing and Show (4-7 July) offers a fun day out for any family looking to enjoy the best of the British summer

    Situated on the stunning Marlborough Downs in Wiltshire, Barbury Horse Trials offers a great day out for horse lovers and non-equestrians alike. The natural amphitheatre allows excellent views of the cross-country course, where you can watch top event riders from around the world trying to beat last year’s CIC3* winner Andrew Nicholson (pictured).

    They are likely to have their work cut out as Andrew is bringing his Badminton ride Nereo (currently fourth after dressage), as well as last year’s Barbury International Eventing CIC3* winner Avebury to the party. He also has up-and-coming ride Viscount George entered for the 3*, which culminates on Sunday with the cross-country running in reserve order to keep the excitement high to the end of the day.

    When asked what makes the event special, Andrew said: “Barbury is a stunning competition, the cross-country is undulating offering a proper challenge and there is always something for the spectators to see. I certainly will be going for it.”

    Barbury International Eventing and Show offers a great chance to see numerous Badminton combinations back in action, with both CIC3* sections looking extremely competitive. Sir Mark Todd, Lucinda Green, Pippa Funnell, Piggy French, Oliver Townend, Tina Cook and Laura Collett are among the riders competing in the two elite 3-star sections.

    Alongside the eventing, spectators can also enjoy 3 top class showjumping classes during the weekend, with entries including local top British lady rider Tina Fletcher.

    And racing legend Kauto Star will be making a special guest appearance in the main arena on Sunday with his current rider Laura Collett and British Eventing’s world class performance manager Yogi Breisner.

    Barbury Horse Trials family entertainment

    If you can drag yourself away from the equestrian action, there is plenty of fun for all the family including the Amazing Bike Show, sheep and gun dog display, birds of prey, a hound parade and The Lamb National — always a favourite with the children — as well as plenty of children’s entertainment on site.

    This year’s nominated charity, the Wiltshire Air Ambulance, will benefit from money raised by the hilarious ‘Its A Knockout’ competition between local businesses on Sunday.

    To cater for the predicted balmy conditions, Barbury’s popular watering hole, The Outside Chance, has trebled its order for water, Pimms and Pol Roger Champagne. It will also be well stocked with ice cream and lollies, to help spectators stay cool and hydrated. We recommend applying plenty of sun cream throughout your visit and bringing a suitable hat with you to protect yourself from the sun.

    There will be extra water bowls spread around the site if you decide to bring your dog, but they may be happier left at home if it is really hot. If you do bring your dog, do not under any circumstance leave him in the car and make sure he remains on a short lead on to which you keep a firm grip at all times. No-one wants the day spoilt by loose dogs causing havoc on the cross-country course.

    Preparing your Barbury Horse Trials picnic

    Ready Steady Cook’s Brian Turner CBE, will be headlining the weekend’s CGA Festival of Food at Barbury International Eventing and Show, alongside celebrity chefs Graham White, Andrew Kojima, Tania Steytler, Joseph Croan and Graham Passey.

    Brian’s tips on preparing a mouth-watering picnic are: “Do plenty the day before to reduce stress on the day. Pre-cooked sausages and skewers of chicken and lamb are best when served with coleslaws, pickles and dipping sauces. Fruit tarts and fresh fruit picnics are great with yoghurts, and don’t forget a well chilled bottle of rose wine!”

    Or if you prefer you can let the chefs take the strain and enjoy the wide range of homemade and home-grown produce on offer in the CGA Festival of Food. Cookery demonstrations will begin from 10am each day.

    Barbury Horse Trials tickets

    Tickets can be bought on the gate costing £18 per person, which covers admission to the horse trials, the Wiltshire County Show and public parking. Under 12s get in free and programmes cost £5 each.

    For more information visit www.barburyhorsetrials.co.uk

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