Popular horse trials dropped from British Eventing calendar

  • Salperton Park Horse Trials (pictured), near Cheltenham, has been dropped from the British Eventing (BE) calendar because “the estate feels that the impact on the parkland is too much”.

    The Gloucestershire estate, which also runs a successful shoot and a working farm, has decided that the “impact of building and running a horse trials is significant and adversely impacts on the other estate revenues considerably”.

    The event, which traditionally ran from novice to advanced intermediate, was scheduled to run on the last weekend in June this season (27-29). The event was often used by four-star riders for their first post-Badminton run.

    BE has confirmed that the fixtures team is already working to try to find a replacement and an announcement will be made in due course.

    “We had a great year last year running more competitors than ever before, but the weather was on our side,” said organiser Karen Bartlett.

    “We are hugely grateful to Jason Houghton and his family for letting us have 13 fabulous years there.

    “My family and friends have personally invested a significant amount into the event but we cannot continue to do so. The estate is increasingly worried about the financial and physical impact on the park from the event especially after poor weather.

    “I would like to send thanks to all competitors, officials, volunteers, owners and visitors to the event over the past decade plus.”

    Karen will still be involved in eventing as she helps to run the Horse Trials Support Group, the British Event Organisers Association, Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials and has some exciting young horses with Laura Collett and Bruce Haskell.

    BE chief executive Mike Etherington-Smith, who had been course-designer at the event for the past four years, said: “Salperton has been a fantastic event and everyone will be very sad to see it go.

    “Jason and Karen, along with their team, have produced a top class event in a wonderful setting and on behalf of all of us I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved for what they have done for the sport.”

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