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

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

    Date: Saturday 14 – Sunday 15 March 2015

    Organiser: James Hardwick
    01394 411238 / 07767 887815; poplarpark@googlemail.com; www.poplarparkevent.co.uk
    Location: Suffolk

    Entries open: 6 February
    Ballot date: 21 February at 12 noon
    Entries close: 4 March

    Link to Poplar Park entries: www.britisheventing.com/poplarpark

    How to get there

    Poplar Park is situated in Hollesley, seven miles east of Woodbridge on the Heritage Coast. Postcode IP12 3NA. Despite the event being nearly on the coast, it has very good road links.

    What the organisers say

    Having successfully negotiated a return to our original March date, we want to ensure that we provide competitors with the ideal early season run: an inviting and flowing track designed to get horses thinking forward.

    New for 2015 is the introduction of a BE80(T) class and a rescheduling of the programme so that novice and intermediate sections are both on Sunday. The tracks run over undulating terrain on light and sandy ground, with excellent going in all weathers.

    We are embarking upon a three-year cross-country improvement plan with renowned course-builder and designer Joe Weller.

    We have undertaken significant ground work to alter the position of the cross-country start and finish area. The aim is to give competitors more space to attack those early fences without the distractions of the marquee and the congestion from spectators. The first water jump has also had a complete redesign, and is now far more inviting for young and green horses.

    What the riders say

    Dressage & showjumping — “There is plenty of room in the dressage warm-up with good sandy going, and space for people to lunge.” “The cross-country course runs near the warm-up, which can be distracting.” “The arenas are very slightly sloping, but the sandy going doesn’t get cut up.” “The showjumping warm-up is a bit tight, on deep sand and on a slope. The take-offs get deep — I worry about horses jumping downhill into people standing around.” “The showjumping area is next to the cross-country collecting ring, so a bit of a busy area.”

    Cross-country — “The warm-up is large but right next to the last water and end of the course, which causes some problems for excited horses.” “The stewards are lovely, but their blackboard faces away from the riders so it’s quite hard to know what’s happening.” “The walk from the collecting ring to the start is very busy and the start box is on the main track behind the marquees [see organisers’ comments].” “The cross-country course had been unchanged for some years, although I believe there have been great improvements including work to both water complexes [see organisers’ comments].” “The ground is sandy, and although it can be a bit twisty in places, it jumps very well.” “A good event for a first-timer.”

    Percentage of cross-country clears 2014

    OI: 46%
    N: 92%
    BE100 Under 18: 88%
    BE100 Open: 89%
    BE100: 81%
    BE90 Open: 83%
    BE90: 71%

    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