County’s first international trials

Martyn Johnson at the water jump which is being prepared for this years event.
Martyn Johnson at the water jump which is being prepared for this years event.

A North East civil-engineering firm has been announced as title sponsor of an international sporting event – and the company has also played a key role in getting the site ready.

The Owen Pugh Group has signed up as sponsor of the three-day-long Burgham International Horse Trials, which start tomorrow, after sponsoring the spring events which attracted around 550 entries.

The firm, which employs 370 people, is not only supporting the international sporting spectacle via the sponsorship agreement, but has also helped to prepare the course by providing plant, labour and materials to enhance the naturally-undulating terrain at Burgham to create an imaginative and challenging course.

This is the first year that the Trials, which are run by a voluntary committee, has been awarded international status, becoming the only equestrian event in the North East to feature advanced level competitors.

Accomplished eventing riders including British squad member Oliver Townend and Australia’s Paul Tapner and Andrew Hoy are all due to compete during the three-day event.

In addition, Olympic Gold medallist Blyth Tait has a horse entered for the feature CIC 3* class.

The trials will also host British Eventing national classes over the weekend ranging from Open Intermediate to BE 90 where grassroots riders will have their chance to compete. The event acts as an important stepping stone up the international ladder and hopefully the world-renowned Badminton Horse Trials.