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

  • Date: Saturday 10 October 2015

    Organiser: Tamsyn Hutchins
    Contact: 07966 788408; tamsynhutchinseventing@hotmail.co.uk
    Location: Cornwall

    Entries open: 7 September
    Ballot date: 21 September at 12 noon
    Entries close: 1 October

    Link to Port Eliot entries: www.britisheventing.com/port-eliot

    How to get there

    The Port Eliot estate is in the village of St Germans in Saltash. From the A38 pick up the B3249 (signposted St Germans). Look out for signs to Port Eliot and the horse trials. The event is located only an hour from the M5 and from Exeter.

    There is dual carriageway to within two miles of the site. Access is excellent for large lorries.

    What the organisers say

    Our title sponsor is Roger Young Land Rovers.

    A new event last year, Port Eliot’s location is steeped in history and parts of Port Eliot House are estimated to be 1,500 years old.

    The venue is stunning and viewing of the cross-country course is excellent from the tradestand and showjumping area. The lorry park is spacious and approached via a gravel drive so access is good in all weathers. Following feedback, the secretary and scoreboards will be nearer to the lorry park this year.

    Port Eliot is run by event rider Tamsyn Hutchins. The local hunt is involved too, and the intention is to make it a friendly fixture to which riders will want to return.

    The dressage is sited on flat ground away from the main hub of the event in a quiet spot.

    The showjumping will be centrally located in the park in front of the house.

    The cross-country courses, designed by Willis Bros assisted by Tamsyn, start in the park and flow through woodland, finishing back in the park again. These are not twisty tracks. The terrain is undulating rather than hilly. All fences were new last year — some permanent and some portable — and there will be a natural water question towards the end of the track.

    The going is mostly on old parkland turf and work will be undertaken to make the going as near to perfect as possible in dry or wet weather. However, this site is very well draining and the going has never been known to be hard. It is also well maintained with only two horse events here per year.

    The up-to-height courses will be straightforward, inviting and not at all trappy so they will be suitable for all. Alternatives will be offered at all the more tricky obstacles. The intention is to encourage and educate and ensure a great ride for all.

    What the riders say

    Dressage & showjumping — “There are nice warm-up areas and flat dressage arenas.” “The dressage is set away from the rest of the event so there’s a bit of a walk, but it means it’s fairly quiet.” “The showjumping is held in a big arena in front of the main house which gives it a good backdrop and atmosphere.” “The showjumping is quite close to the start of the cross-country which can be off-putting.” “The courses are up to height and in a decent-sized arena.”

    Cross-country — “The BE100 is a long course and could probably do with a few more jumping efforts.” “It is quite an undulating course but straightforward.” “It is a good course for first-timers.” “It is run on old pasture that has a natural spring so the ground is good.”

    Percentage of cross-country clears 2014

    BE100 Open: 89%
    BE80(T): 69%

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