Bicton Horse Trials

Bicton Horse Trials, in Devon, has held British Eventing and FEI Horse Trials for a number of years.

In June 2021, Bicton stepped up to host the four-star classes that usually take place at Bramham Horse Trials, which had been cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. With Covid restrictions making travel to Europe tricky, the event at Bicton, supported by Chedington, received bumper entries and served as a key selection trial ahead of the Tokyo Olympics and the European Eventing Championships.

Riders praised the event for the strong cross-country course, designed by Bicton boss Helen West, and the whole organising team for putting on an excellent event at just seven weeks notice. Nicola Wilson and JL Dublin won the CCI4*-L and Tom McEwen took the CCI4*-S on Toledo De Kerser.

Helen left Bicton shortly after the four-star to take on a new role as CEO of British Eventing.

Later in 2021 it was announced that Bicton would host a one-off five-star, sponsored again by Chedington, over the weekend when Burghley Horse Trials would usually run in September. This was the only five-star to run in Britain in 2020 or 2021, with Badminton Horse Trials and Burghley cancelled both years due to Covid-19.

A small field of 32 started in the five-star, but riders were fulsome in their praise of the Bicton team – headed up now by Andrew Fell, Helen’s husband – in laying on the event in 11 weeks.

The cross-country course, designed this time by Mark Phillips, again proved a tough challenge, with the terrain playing a part as well as the fences.

Gemma Tattersall won the event riding the home-bred Chilli Knight, who belongs to Chris Stone, and her boyfriend Gary Stevens proposed to her in the press conference after prize-giving, rounding off a great week at the only British five-star of 2021.