Former venue returns to British Eventing calendar after 47-year break

  • A replacement fixture for Gatcombe Horse Trials’ spring event has been confirmed by British Eventing (BE).

    Cirencester Park in Gloucestershire has been awarded a national fixture in week four of the eventing calendar from 2020 following a process to replace the Gatcombe event. The news broke in May that organiser Pattie Biden and her team would run the last ever spring fixture at Gatcombe this year.

    Alex Lochore and Musketeer Event Management will be the organising team behind the new fixture, on part of the Bathhurst Estate, and it promises to be a “fantastic addition” to the BE calendar.

    BE chief executive Jude Mathews said: “We are delighted to welcome Cirencester Park as a new venue into the calendar for 2020.

    “It has great soil type, which is imperative for any fixture early in the calendar, and is nearby to Gatcombe Park which it replaces.”

    Cirencester Park is 12 miles from Gatcombe Park.

    “We hope that competitors will enjoy the opportunity this new fixture provides,” said Ms Mathews.

    Organiser Alex Lochore, the event director behind international events Burnham Market and Houghton, said it is a “wonderful opportunity” for the Musketeer Event Management team to work with Bathurst Estate to re-establish a fixture, which last ran in 1973, and to build and develop a “great early season event at this picturesque venue”.

    “We look forward to welcoming the event world here in March 2020,” he said.

    The Festival of British Eventing 2019 will take place at Gatcombe Park on 2 to 4 August.

    In this week’s Horse & Hound magazine check out our ‘Natives special’ issue, including features on the ultra-talented native ponies competing across the disciplines, plus the breed’s potential health problems and much more. We also talk to this year’s teenage Hickstead Derby winner, Mikey Pender, about his landmark victory and his future goals. Plus read Mark Phillips’ exclusive comment on whether the eventing rules are pushing riders to be unsafe, and find out about the colic study aiming to save horses’ lives. 

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