Howick Horse Trials: what riders need to know [H&H VIP]

  • Get the lowdown on this fixture from Eventing magazine's horse trials guide — including what riders say about the event, plus vital statistics

    Date: Saturday 4 – Sunday 5 April 2015

    Organiser: H&H Events Ltd
    Contact: info@handhevents.com; Hannah Matthews: 01594 529825 / 07831 584823; Heidi Davis: 01291 624944 / 07818 095616
    Location: Monmouthshire

    Entries open: 28 February
    Ballot date: 16 March
    Entries close: 25 March

    Link to Howick entries: www.britisheventing.com/howick

    How to get there

    11 miles from the M4/M5 interchange. Take junction two off the M48 then the A466 exit to Chepstow/A48/Cas-gwent. At the first roundabout take the second exit onto the A466/Wye Valley link road, at the next take the Itton/Devauden exit signposted B4293. The event is two miles on your right.

    What the organisers say

    Howick is an excellent early-season event. The dressage arenas are away from the cross-country course, in a self-contained field, on level ground with plenty of space. The showjumping is designed by Ed Williams and is sited at the centre of the event.

    The cross-country course is a maximum-distance track that runs on gently sloping old pasture and incorporates natural landscape features. There are alternatives where necessary.

    Each year we bring in new fences. In 2014 we added a water fence, which is an excellent introduction for first-timers — in fact the whole event is designed to encourage grassroots riders and debutants. Simon Grundy is the course-designer and builder.

    There are special privileges for competitors who volunteer.

    What the riders say

    Dressage & showjumping — “The dressage warm-up was not very nice as some parts were very churned up and deep. The arenas themselves are on a bit of a slope, however all the stewards were very friendly.” “Arenas and warm-up were set well away from the showjumping and cross-country, which provided a nice calm setting.” “The showjumping warm-up was on quite a steep hill, became very busy, and landings and take-offs were very deep.” “The arena itself generally had good going with a nice set of fences and is away from the tradestands.”

    Cross-country — “The start is going away from the whole event, so if you are on something nappy, the first few fences take a bit of riding, but it was a nice course overall.” “Good to have some steps included with the general portable fences, but shame there is a lack of a real water.” “The warm-up was slightly small and hard to work with due to the churned up ground. But the course itself was lovely; nicely designed and a very good round for an inexperienced horse.” “The fences were not particularly technical and the course was lenient, which I find a good feature of such an early event.” “The ground on course was very good and it ran over very slightly undulating terrain, so it wasn’t too tiring for the start of the season.”

    Percentage of cross-country clears 2014

    BE100: 79%
    BE90: 89%
    BE80(T): 78%
    Download part one of the horse trials guide for just £1.49: Eventing horse trials guide part one

    Buy Eventing magazine’s March issue for our full horse trials guide detailing every event from March to June 2015 or purchase a digital copy of the guide here. The second half of the guide will be in our April issue (on sale 20 March) and online to buy digitally after publication