Festival survives despite drenched courses

Eleanor Mercer - N Yorkshire 5yo
Eleanor Mercer - N Yorkshire 5yo

Wet weather failed to dampen the spirits at Burgham Horse Trials, as competitors and spectators were able to enjoy three days of eventing.

A huge effort by the Burgham team enabled the show to go on – a great achievement considering other horse trials across the country have been totally wiped out by the weather.

Alexandra Meikle - East Lothian BE100

Alexandra Meikle - East Lothian BE100

The rain did cause some disruption though, with no action taking place on the Friday.

British Showjumping was cancelled completely because of ground conditions around the arenas following rain.

And British Eventing took the decision to postpone the Intermediate and Open Intermediate classes, moving them from Friday to Monday.

But finally, the sun shone, and huge crowds turned up from Saturday to Monday to support more than 700 competitors – a massive increase on the number of eventers last year.

Riders who took part travelled from places as far afield as Perthshire in Scotland, Conwy in Wales and Berkshire in the south of England, and included Ruth Edge, Matthew Wright and Jamie Atkinson.

An estimated 8,000 people attended the event over the three days, with BE90, BE100, Novice and Intermediate classes competing.

Other attractions included the retail village and a companion dog show.

The Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse qualifiers were moved to nearby Todburn Equestrian Centre.

Event director David Nicholson said: “It was obviously a difficult build-up to the weekend but after all the hard work it has been extremely rewarding to see so many riders and spectators enjoy a great weekend’s eventing.”

Burgham’s cross country courses for BE90, BE100 and Novice levels are open for schooling tomorrow and Saturday from 7am until 8pm. The cost is £25 per horse and riders can turn up on the day.

The organising team will soon get plans for the next event – an Advanced Badminton qualifier next March which will include all classes from BE90 to Advanced.

For full results from the Trials, visit http://tinyurl.com/cdxpcfk