Three foreign shows every Brit should visit — and they’re all just a short journey away

  • There are certain events every fan of the Olympic equestrian sports should go to at least once in their lives — and here in Britain, we’re lucky that several of them are just a short journey away.

    Save your pennies, grab your passport, book a flight, a ferry or a train and we promise you won’t regret a trip to any of these destinations…

    1. Aachen

    It’s worth going to the German mega centre just to walk around the showground — filled with statues, fountains and perfectly manicured hedges, it’s like taking a stroll round an upmarket garden centre. Dressage, showjumping and eventing all take place here and much more besides. Make sure you find the hall of fame, with legendary horses’ shoes set into the paving stones, and watch the concluding grand prix in the huge grass arena (pictured). The city is charming too, with lots of lovely restaurants and a historic cathedral.

    2. Le Lion d’Angers

    The French venue hosts the eventing young horse World Championships, so you can see stars of tomorrow competing. Le Lion boasts perhaps the most beautifully decorated cross-country course in the world, with spiders and violins among past features.

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    3. Dublin

    The hallowed turf of Irish horse sport, Dublin Horse Show is steeped in history, with the crème de la crème of showjumping and showing coming together. Friday’s Nations Cup — for the Aga Khan Trophy — is conducted with plenty of pomp and ceremony, including stewards in full morning dress, and has been fought over since 1926. Every Irish child who has ever sat on a pony wants to win here — last year’s winner Shane Breen said: “For me, this is as good as a medal — it means everything.”

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