Calling all adrenaline junkies — are you up to the challenge?

  • Equestrian adrenaline seekers are in luck — the Gold Button Challenge makes a popular return to the calendar next month (Saturday 14 February).

    The cross-country ride, styled on an original steeplechase, will take place at Manor Farm, Longdon. It will be run over a course of three miles with approximately 28 natural obstacles in the heart of the Ledbury Hunt country.

    The event is open to anyone over 16-years-old and riders can compete for one of seven “Golden Buttons” including those awarded for first past the post and first veteran (over 50).

    The original Golden Button event took place in 2005 in between the villages of Forthampton and Tirley on the banks of the River Severn.

    Five runnings of the event proved to be very popular, however after a break for a few years, it is anticipated the new venue will produce an equally exciting but challenging course.

    Ben Leeke, one of the organisers, told H&H: “Within 24hr of announcing the relaunch, the response on social media has been enormous and we have already started taking entries which is really exciting.”

    Previous winners of the event include jump jockey Paul Carberry who flew over from Ireland especially to take part on New Year’s Eve in 2009.

    Partnering the Brendan Powell-trained Blaze Ahead, the combination survived a refusal at fence 18 but made up ground in a thrilling finish to win by two lengths with renowned team chaser Zoe Gibson in second.

    Zara Phillips and Top Gear’s Richard Hammond have been among those who have started the ride that was previously held on New Year’s Eve.

    In addition to the thrills and spills of the Equine R-Oil and Buying Solution Golden Button Challenge, there is also a fun run over the same course for those not wanting to take the fences on at speed, and the Golden Button Ball in the evening for those still standing.

    For further details see www.golden-button.co.uk

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