The Three Counties Showground at Malvern, Worcs, has embarked on renovation of its equestrian facilities after rock-hard going led to poor numbers forward at its county show last year.
Major events such as the National Hunter Show, Riding Club Championships and National Side Saddle Show, have moved away from the venue in recent years, despite its stunning backdrop of the Malvern Hills and permanent stabling complex.
The £10,000-plus renovations will include relieving compacted surfaces, installing a permanent irrigation system and enlarging the horse rings. An arena will also be established as a dedicated working-in ring.
Contractor Malcolm Higginson, whose company Equestrian Services has worked on cross-country going at events such as Moreton Morrell and Springhill, will do much of the work.
He explains: “We’ll use an aerator, then fertilise to allow it to be washed in. We then overseed with a seed mix normally used for gallops,” he explains.
The show’s chairman, Judy Proger, says: “This is the first phase of major improvements — there will be more developments and we plan to re-establish the event as a premier show.”
Show producer Robert Oliver will attend the show for the 35th year and says: “Three Counties is one of my favourites, but the going did cause problems. Show hunters canter and gallop on the turn, and hard ground with poor cover can cause a strain.”
The Three Counties Show runs from 18-20 June and the closing date for entries is 27 April.