Poplar Park to undergo revamp

  • One of Britain’s longest running events is set to undergo a major revamp before its event next spring (14-15 Mach).

    Poplar Park in Suffolk is going to have an overhaul which will see the introduction of a BE80 track and an update of the cross-country course.

    The changes are part of a three-year plan with course builder and designer Joe Weller.

    The event, which is now in its 32nd year, will take place in March this year having run in April for the past two years.

    “In moving to April we had to make adjustments to the track to suit the later time of year,” said joint-organiser Bo Hardwick.

    “Having successfully negotiated a return to our original March date we felt that the cross-country course needed a complete overhaul in order to ensure we provide competitors with the ideal early season run: an inviting and flowing track designed to get horses thinking forward.

    “Having listened to feedback from riders we have undertaken significant ground work to alter the position of the cross-country start and finish area. The aim is to give competitors more space to attack those early fences without the distractions of the marquee and the congestion from spectators. The first water jump is now far more inviting for young and green horses.”

    The changes will also see the showjump arena extensively rested and re-fenced, re-grading of the land in various areas of the cross-country course and all take offs and landings meticulously prepared.

    “Our unique selling point has to be our ground: sandy free draining soil that can cope with pretty much anything the great British weather has to throw at us, Ms Hardwick added.

    “Being a peripheral venue, we realise that we have to provide a high-quality event in order to attract sufficient competitors.”

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