Pimm’s, picnics and equine heroes — 7 reasons we love Burghley Horse Trials

  • Seasoned Burghley spectator and H&H staffer Gemma Redrup rounds up the reasons why she'll never miss this eventing extravaganza

    1. It’s the pièce de résistance of the British summer

    Burghley Park is beautiful even when it’s not decked out with the best eventers and shops in the world, so when you add a dollop of sunshine, a lathering of incredible horses and a sprinkling of something alcoholic, it is very hard to beat.

    2. Be within breathing distance of your equine heroes

    Burghley is an ideal event to see your favourite horse and rider combinations from just a hoof oil brush’s distance. The best place to spot them away from the main arena and cross-country course is in one of the warm-up arenas where you can see how they carry out last-minute preparations for one of the world’s biggest four-stars.

    3. Pimm’s a plenty

    Or any other variety of booze for that matter. But being supremely British, Burghley provides Pimm’s by the bucket load — and boy does it taste good.

    4. Proper picnics

    While we’re on the subject of all things supremely British, the sight of hundreds of top-notch picnics at Burghley is something to behold. Whether you’re a modest sort who is partial to a supermarket-bought sausage roll and a packet of salt and vinegar crisps, or if you’re more of a tables and chairs, champagne, homemade quiche and a pork pie large enough to feed an army sort of person, Burghley can accommodate you. And if you can’t be bothered to pack your car with a picnic, never fear, because the food on offer at the event is phenomenal, so make sure you put the foodwalk on your list of things to visit.

    5. Witness stars of the future

    It isn’t all about the four-star contenders. Burghley also plays host to a Pony Club showjumping competition and the Burghley Young Event Horse final. This is a great opportunity for you to cast an eye over future potential leading horses and riders.

    6. Wallow in shopping heaven

    It is true that you can go to Burghley and not even see a horse if you so wish. If shopping is your priority then you’ve come to the right place, with hundreds of fabulous tradestands groaning under the weight of their quality goods. From tack shops galore to superb art or maybe a tweed ensemble, you will be spoilt for choice.

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    7. Something for everyone

    Maybe you’re not interested in horses or shopping…? Don’t worry, the Land Rover stand will satisfy the needs of those who love cars — with an off-road driving experience and other features to keep petrolheads happy.

    Don’t miss our Burghley form guide in the 1 September issue of Horse & Hound magazine

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