Two cross-country course changes made at Bicton Horse Trials *H&H Plus*

  • 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 changes do not alter the challenge if riders take the direct routes, but they offer an alternative at two fences on the Chedington CCI4*-L track and one fence on the Chedington CCI4*-S course.

    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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