12 reasons to go to the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe this weekend

  • Are you going to the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe this week (7-9 August)? Read on to find out why you should.

    1. Spot British European Championship squad members in action. Gemma Tattersall on Arctic Soul and William Fox-Pitt on Bay My Hero are entered for the British open championship.

    2. You can have your hat and body protector checked for fit and that they are up to standard for free at the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) stand overlooking the main arena. You will also receive a 10% off voucher to spend with a BETA member retailer on a new hat or body protector. BETA are celebrating 10 years as presenting sponsor at this year’s Festival.

    3. Australian quad bike stunt rider The Kangaroo Kid — aka Matt Coulter — is giving a demo for the first time in the main arena on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

    4. Other main arena attractions include the Shetland pony Grand National, scurry driving and dressage to music.

    5. The Royal Agricultural University beagles will parade on Saturday and the Duke of Beaufort hounds on Sunday.

    6. Watch the first running of the Topspec-sponsored national restricted novice championship for The Corinthian Cup, aimed at true amateur riders — competitors, who have qualified over the past year, cannot have completed an intermediate in the current or preceding five years or an advanced in the current or preceding 10 years.

    7. Grand National winner Many Clouds will be parading at the Festival on Sunday.

    8. The British intermediate and novice championships offer the opportunity to see the stars of tomorrow in action today. Former intermediate class winners include Tamarillo — who went on to win Badminton and Burghley with William Fox-Pitt — and Land Vision — who triumphed at Gatcombe with Oliver Townend and later picked up the Badminton title with Mark Todd. William Fox-Pitt’s four-star performers Cool Mountain and Navigator both took the novice championship in their time.

    9. A new second arena will thrill canine fans with flyball and “have a go” dog agility, as well as Pony Club mounted games.

    10. There are over 100 tradestands, so whatever your shopping desires, you should be able to find something to satisfy them here.

    11. Andrew Nicholson has five horses entered in the British open championships, including former winners Avebury and Nereo. If you’re more “Team William”, Mr Fox-Pitt has seven horses entered across the classes.

    12. A fresh look is promised for the cross-country courses this year, with a new route planned through the park bowl and running much closer to Gatcombe House than previously, and the track no longer going up into the car park.

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