Find out what alterations have been made to the four-star courses at Bicton
Two tweaks have been made to the cross-country course at Bicton Horse Trials, supported by Chedington.
The HTSG complex late on the course was previously numbered as one fence (23abc in the CCI4*L and 17abc in the CCI4*-S). This has now been changed to be fence 23/24ab in the CCI4*L and 17/18ab in the CCI4*-S, offering riders the option of circling after the initial oxer before the brush corner without being penalised.
On the CCI4*-L track, a black flag alternative has been added to fence 21b, the skinny after the big drop at the Clinton Devon fence.
Action over the cross-country course starts at 9am today with the CCI4*-L horses, followed later in the day by the under-25 CCI4*-L competitors.
The courses have been designed by event organiser Helen West, with support from Mark Phillips.
The riders have said the tracks will offer a serious challenge, being both big and technical.
Piggy March said: “They are really strong, good courses with hard terrain — it will be a really tough test and something that I think we’re all probably ready for and probably need in order to see where we’re at.
“We’ve been competing around the same places quite frequently – Aston-Le-Walls, for example, which has very little terrain – and all credit to them as they’ve been doing a great job. However, we have got to be on our A game and really make something happen – it’s good, it’s what the sport should be, and what we probably all need at this stage as well – something to actually get stuck into and really go and ride and see where we’re at.
“It’s a really good track and I think it will be interesting to see how people ride it. I hope people take the terrain into account, because it’s a great course but it stays big until the end. I think we really need to use our brains, because the hills are a shock to us when we walk it so it will be a bit of a shock to our horses too. We’ve got to be responsible for our cross-country rides. It’s what the sport should be and there will be problems everywhere.”
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