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28th April - On course for a thrilling event!
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.
The 3-star international classes provide a showcase for some of the world’s best riders and horses and will be used as a selection trial by many nations for this summer’s World Equestrian Games in France.
Previous winners include William Fox-Pitt, Mary King and Pippa Funnell; last year’s victor, world number one 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. I come every year and, as ever, I’m looking forward to it very much.”
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!”
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).