Popular horse trials at risk from major dual carriageway plans

  • A popular horse trials and equestrian centre is under threat of being lost to a dual carriageway.

    Burgie, which hosts two British Eventing (BE) affiliated fixtures a year and is home to a livery and competition centre, is at risk of having a major road built through its heart.

    The Scottish venue is also home to numerous events run by the Moray Riding Club and the Moray & Nairn branch of the Pony Club.

    Its BE fixtures have classes from BE80(T) to novice and include regional final and under-18 sections.

    The venue has also hosted international eventing in previous years; the last three-day held there ran in 2011.

    Scotland had just 12 BE events scheduled for this year, two of which are held at Burgie.

    “We are one of six possible routes,” owner Polly Lochore told H&H, adding they are trying to get everyone who has ever come to the venue to fill in and submit a feedback form to Transport Scotland.

    “If it goes this particular route, it is going to go absolutely straight across our ground.

    “[This will] not only completely ruin our equestrian centre but the farm, and where we live, is going to be one side of the road and the farm buildings and the main house on the other.”

    She added that she would be “devastated” if Transport Scotland did choose the Burgie route, but also sad for those affected if one of the other five routes is chosen.

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    The section of road is on the A96 between Hardmuir and Fochabers. The road already exists, but the dualling plans vary from its existing route.

    burgie road

    The proposed highway (B1 on the map, above) would cut through the cross-country course — 15m above the existing water complex — making it unusable and any events held at Burgie would no longer be able to run.

    A statement from the eventing centre said there is currently “no suitable replacement location” that would be able to cater for all the events it hosts.

    “Added to which the securing and establishing of a new site would have large cost implications,” added the statement.

    The centre is asking people to outline the value of the facilities at Burgie and why they need to be preserved.

    The feedback form can be downloaded here and must be submitted by 4 August via email to a96dualling@transport.gov.scot or post to A96 Dualling Team,
    Transport Scotland, Buchanan House, 58 Port Dundas Road, Glasgow. G4 0HF.

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