Pontispool Horse Trials (1): 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 30 May — Monday 1 June 2015

    Organisers: Richard Mitford-Slade and Lucy Fielding-Johnson
    Contact: 01823 461196; info@pontispool.com; www.pontispool.com
    Location: Somerset

    Entries open: 24 April
    Ballot date: 9 May at 12 noon
    Entries close: 20 May

    Link to Pontispool (1) entries: www.britisheventing.com/pontispool1

    How to get there

    Leave the M5 at junction 26. Follow brown “Pontispool” tourist signs marked with a horseshoe.

    Postcode TA4 1BH.

    What the organisers say

    The event is sponsored by Griffin NuuMed.

    The dressage is sited on level permanent pasture, with the showjumping in the all-weather arena. The arena and practice area now extend to nearly three acres.

    There is additional warm-up space for both dressage and showjumping. The arena surface is supplied by Equestrian Surfaces.

    Eric Winter designs the cross-country tracks over mildly undulating terrain which incorporates parkland, woodland, orchards and open countryside. The BE agri-vator will be used as necessary. Many fences have all-weather take-offs and landings. All courses are educational with a good variety of fences, including water, ditches, quarries, steps and banks. Portables are used for variation. All the fences are well built, dressed and inviting. The tracks vary between fixtures, and new fences are added every year.

    Courses are suitable for first-timers as there are slower alternatives at technical fences. However, they are a fair test for those trying to finish within the time.

    A new track is being installed to allow a one-way system to operate and ease congestion at the entrance.

    What the riders say

    Dressage & showjumping — “The dressage arenas are nice, well presented and flat with enough space to warm-up in.” “The dressage is a long hack from the lorry park but the arenas are on good going.” “The showjumping is on a surface in a big enough arena to ride around and produce a decent track.” “The course jumps very well, but is up to height for all classes and quite technical.”

    Cross-country — “The fences and course just don’t seem to flow as well as some events, but there is a reasonable variety of fences.” “The course is quite testing with nearly every fence being some sort of question.” “A good use of natural hedges as fences.” “The water comes quite early on and is strong.” “It wouldn’t be a first-time at that level track, but it is a very educational one.” “The going was very good, but it has been known to be firm there.”

    Percentage of cross-country clears 2014

    I: 57%
    NRF: 86%
    IN: 55%
    ONU18: 59%
    ON: 62%
    N: 66%
    BE100U18: 75%
    BE100 Open: 75%
    BE100: 72%
    5YO: 77%
    BE90: 81%
    BE80(T): 73%

    Download part one of the horse trials guide for just £1.49: Eventing horse trials guide part one

    Buy Eventing magazine’s April issue for our full horse trials guide detailing every event from July to October 2015 or purchase a digital copy of the guide here.