Organisers of Keysoe’s final British Eventing (BE) fixture of the year are so confident of their cross-country ground conditions, they have pledged to refund start fees to anyone who does not agree.

Owner Simon Bates said entries are coming in “steadily” for The College Equestrian Centre’s event, which is due to run from Friday to Sunday, 24 to 26 August, but that they are low compared to previous years.

It is believed this is as a result of the “continuing challenging weather conditions our sport has faced this season”, but Mr Bates added that riders’ fears are groundless.

“We are so confident in our ground management plans, we will give a full and unchallenged refund of start fees to any rider eligible to start the cross-country, who does not believe the ground is acceptable to run their horse on,” he said.

Mr Bates said the ground care plan at Keysoe includes regular spreading of compost, and that there will be more agrivating before this third and final BE fixture of the year.

“With all-weather dressage, including a new 10-minute arena, and all-weather show jumping, we are able to focus our efforts on delivering good going on the cross-country,” he added.

“We have found that our routine of building a good organic matter covering, with good grass cover and a strong root structure, and then agrivating close to the event day, creates going that is more than acceptable.”

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The event’s ballot date is noon tomorrow (Friday, 3 August).

Competitors will see a number of changes from the event’s previous fixture, including the moving of the cross-country start to near the lorry park, which will also provide fresh ground.

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