Barbury Castle International Horse Trials is only days away and it’s once again promising top class competition at what can only be described as the most spectator friendly international event in the calendar. No where else can you sit at the main arena whilst also being able to see 80-90% of the cross country course without leaving your seat. This year sees the addition of the 3rd leg of the Event Riders Masters competition with what can only be described as a top class field preparing to do battle for the sizeable £16,000 winner’s cheque.
There are 4 days of top class competition competition starting on the Thursday with Dressage all day and also the BYEH 4 and 5yo classes which both have strong entries highlighting some of the best young horses in the country. Friday sees the continuation for the dressage phase for the 2 and 3* sections and also the jumping phases for the Novice sections that includes the ROR IN section and Pony and Junior trials.
Saturday the event really starts hotting up (if it wasn’t hot already!) with the CIC*** ERM dressage, CIC*** showjumping and both jumping phases for the CIC**. Supporting the eventing in the main arena will also be the Inter Hunt relay, the JCB challenge which has become a crowd favourite and also a new ROR Hunt challenge. Sunday will bring the event to a fantastic conclusion with the jumping phases of the ERM section, which will be streamed live online at eventridermasters.tv, the CIC*** Cross Country and the ROR final which is an additional showjumping round after Friday’s IN section.
Looking at the entries for the international sections it reads like a who’s who of eventing. The vast majority of the short listed Team GBR combinations will be competing, although by the time they go XC (if they do) they will know if they are on the team with the announcement due mid this week. Other Olympic bound (or at least shortlisted) combinations are competing including the vast majority of the already announced New Zealand team. The only missing rider from their team at Barbury will be Jock Paget who instead has his team horse Clifton Lush entered at Aston Le Walls in a few weeks time.
One thing that will be certain is that the CIC*** trophy will have a different horse’s name on it this year with the retirement of Avebury earlier in the season. He had won the trophy convincingly the previous 4 years so it will seem slightly odd to not see him galloping across the turf of what is his most local event. You can be sure that Andrew will be doing his best to retain the title and in doing so brings his very talented CCI*** Bramham winner Jet Set VI and also Teseo who was 7th at the same event. He will have a challenge on his hands though with the likes of Alex Hua Tian on his CIC*** ERM Bramham winner Don Geniro and Pippa Funnell (Billy The Biz), Tina Cook (Billy The Red), Laura Collett (Grand Manoeuvre) and Gemma Tattersall (Quicklook V) all on shortlisted Rio rides all entered never mind the rest!
Discounted advanced ticket sales close today and can be purchased from the Barbury Website, but of course tickets can also be purchased at the event. For those unable to attend you will of course be able to watch all three phases of the CIC*** ERM competition on eventridermasters.tv on Saturday and Sunday.
We will of course be there bringing you all the action so be sure to stay tuned to the website and our Facebook page for coverage of the event.