New horse trials to run in unusual British location

  • A new British Eventing horse trials will run on the Isle of Wight next year.

    The fixture will take place in July at Osborne, a former home of Queen Victoria. It is being run by Stuart Buntine’s BEDE Events, in partnership with English Heritage.

    The original idea came from Diana Bown, an event horse owner and former organiser.

    The pair have been working on the project for some four years and it was launched publicly this morning (27 April) at the Royal Thames Yacht Club.

    “When we talk about our sport we talk about owners, riders and organisers as equal stakeholders and in the same way here we have the sport, the house and the island, who are all equally important,” said Diana. “Obviously we’re very enthusiastic about it and we want to run it as a showcase.”

    The event will be at open intermediate level, for a limited number of competitors, with a focus on a short day of sport which will bring in new audiences and offer great viewing opportunities for corporate hospitality guests.

    “My whole philosophy is innovation and delivering quality events,” said Stuart. “A key objective is to promote and raise the profile of Osborne, a former royal residence.

    “We’ve had good conversations with the ferry and hovercraft companies about getting people to and fro from the mainland. You can get off the ferry and be there in minutes. Corporate guests can take the hovercraft and be delivered straight to the beach.”

    English Heritage’s head of corporate partnerships, Sinead Donoghue, said: “This is a really fun, different event for us. We became a charity two years ago and becoming self-supporting is important for us.

    “We have 800 events a year on varying scales and harnessing opportunities such as this is crucial to us being able to conserve special sites such as Osborne.”

    Read more about the plans for Osborne Horse Trials in H&H next week (out Thursday, 4 May).

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