THOUSANDS of visitors from all over England flocked to Belton for the annual International Horse Trials (Friday 15th to Sunday 17th April)
Set on the outskirts of Grantham in the heart of Lincolnshire, the delightful surroundings of the National Trust’s Belton Estate provided a fabulous backdrop for a fun-filled family weekend. Quite apart from the packed equestrian programme, the event included a wide range of activities from Dog Shows to Farrier Demos and an family Fun Fair to Stunt Show.
It was an International top 5 in the Lycetts sponsored Grantham Cup CIC 3* with the USA’s Christopher Burton and Mrs Sue Lawson and Carolyn and Anthony Townsend’s 10 year old Nobilis 18 taking the top spot and with it the second leg of the Shearwater Insurance Tri Star Grand Slam with an impressive 34.50. France’s Thomas Carlile also added nothing to his dressage score of 38.40 to finish a close second with Quiro Hoy. Germany’s Bettina Hoy completed the top three with her ride Seigneur Medicott who rolled an unfortunate pole in the show jumping costing her second place.
The inaugural Polly Phillipps Memorial Trophy, awarded to the highest placed British rider in the Grantham Cup not eligible to wear a senior flag, was awarded to local favourite Ros Canter for her ride on her mother’s Zenshera who finished on 57.50 adding just 10.80 Cross Country time penalties to their dressage score.
Classic Moet and her partner, New Zealand’s Jonelle Price claimed top spot in Advanced section M followed closely by Britain’s Laura Collett and Cooley Again, with Oliver Townend and mount Samuel Thomas II coming a close 3rd. Completing his Belton Advanced 1, 2, 3 Oliver took 1st place in Advanced section O with Dunbeau and 2nd with ODT Ghareeb. 3rd place was taken by crowd favourite Andrew Nicholson and Perfect Stranger.
With the exhilarating Gate Jumping Competition won by Scarlett Ward on Blackie, the fast and furious Pony Club mounted games, annual Stallion Parade which showcased the region’s best Stallions, Jez Avery’s Stunt show, an ROR Musical Quadrille, the very popular Interactive Zone, Jerry Green dog shows and have-a-go dog agility all coupled with over 100 trade stands, a pair of Retro Double Decker Bus Bars, family fun fair and not to mention the world’s best eventers, Belton International Horse Trials definitely had it all!