The stage is set for three days of thrilling world-class competition combining elegant dressage, nail-biting show jumping and dramatic cross-country at the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire’s beautiful parkland at Chatsworth near Bakewell, Derbyshire.
This year the Event is supporting Riding for the Disabled – RDA UK’s CEO Ed Bracher said ‘We are delighted to be the chosen charity. High profile events such as this are a real boost for RDA and help raise awareness of the activities we provide for over 28,000 disabled adults and children in the UK’. Visit the RDA stand – no 68 – to find out more.
The 3-star international classes provide a showcase for some of the world’s leading riders and horses and will be used as a selection trial by many nations for this summer’s World Equestrian Games in France.
Entries have been received from multiple Olympic, World and European medallist William Fox-Pitt and fellow Olympic medallists Zara Phillips Nicola Wilson and Sir Mark Todd together with previous winners Pippa Funnell and Oliver Townend – just to name but a few!
Last year’s winner Andrew Nicholson, comments: “Chatsworth is always a great event with a wonderful atmosphere and provides a ‘stepping stone’ for horses aiming for 4-star level”.
Five-time Olympian Ian Stark won the first international class, in 1999 on the Duchess of Devonshire’s Stanwick Ghost, and he continues in his role of course-designer of the 3-star tracks, assisted by Olympic course-builder David Evans who creates the 1-star course.
Ian has produced some new fences, including a rail-ditch-rail fence with a downhill approach where riders will need to have their horses in control and balance. He has also made changes to the Ice Pond, the water complex in the middle of the course which provides a great spectator vantage point.
“There’s a lot of jumping and galloping and riders will need to use their heads and exercise judgement,” promises Ian. “The long routes at combination fences will be time-consuming, so there will be no prizes for the faint-hearted!”
Chatsworth also marks the 75th anniversary of title sponsors Dodson & Horrell, Europe’s leading animal feed specialist. The family-run Northamptonshire based company has nourished equine Olympians, fed Grand National winners and fuelled Epsom Derby victors and is at the forefront of major advances in performance-linked animal nutrition.
The Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse classes plus dressage, take place on Friday and there is cross-country action on both Saturday (novice) and Sunday (advanced).
An exciting programme of arena events includes falconry, have-a-go Dog Agility, Pony Club mounted games and the gundog display team, plus, for the first time, the high-speed excitement of the British Scurry and Driving Trials when ponies and their drivers go against the clock on a course full of cones, barriers arches and ramps.
Away from the arena, there is a children’s entertainment area with mini Land Rovers plus a great range trade stands as well as two craft marquees, selling country clothing, equestrian products, fashion accessories, crafts and top-quality food.
Tickets to the Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials are available at www.chatsworth.org at the special advanced rate of: Friday – Adult £10; Saturday – Adult £14; Sunday – Adult £14; children under 14 £4.50 (under 5s go free). Three-day pass: Adult £30, Child £10.
VIP Membership area:
Enjoy exclusive access to the VIP Membership area which offers an enhanced experience in relaxed surroundings with exclusive ringside access for the show jumping action, fresh food, bar service, garden area and private toilets.
Advance booking: Friday £20, Saturday £25, Sunday £30. Three-day passes are available at £54.00. (Prices include admission and car parking).
There are a limited number of caravan pitches available and include Horse Trials membership. Advanced tickets and information are available at www.chatsworth.org