High-class competitors to do battle at Belsay Trials

Belsay Horse Trails'Olympic Silver Medallist Nicola Wilson and Hero Motivator
Belsay Horse Trails'Olympic Silver Medallist Nicola Wilson and Hero Motivator

Entries are looking extremely strong for this weekend’s Belsay Horse Trials, with some of the UK’s top eventers set to compete.

Organisers of the event, which takes place on Saturday and Sunday, are delighted with the calibre of riders who have signed up for the spectacle.

These include five eventers who rode at the prestigious Badminton Horse Trials in May.

Olympic silver medallist, Nicola Wilson, heads the list and will be bringing eight horses to compete at Belsay this year, including Ngong Hills which she rides in the Open Intermediate class on the opening day.

Dutch Olympic team rider Andrew Heffernan is making the four-hour journey from his base at Somerford Park Farm in Cheshire, bringing two horses to compete; Lawless Lil in the Intermediate and Pewit Setimo in the Novice Regional Final. Three other 2015 Badminton riders, Scotland’s Louisa Milne-Home, UK Nation’s Cup team member Paul Sims and former Young Rider European Gold medal winner Ben Hobday are also heading to Belsay at the weekend.

Hobday’s girlfriend Emma Carmichael, whose parents Ian and Elaine run Todburn Equestrian Centre at Longhorsley, will be competing in the Open Intermediate class with her horse Cooley Lucky Strike.

Riders and visitors will notice many changes and improvements at Belsay this year – chiefly the creation of the new Bond Dickinson Show Jumping Arena. There are also some exciting changes to the cross-country courses at Belsay for 2015.

The Intermediate and Novice tracks now have longer loops at the beginning, enabling horses and riders to get into a good rhythm before tackling some of the more difficult questions on the course.

On top of this, the BE90 and BE100 tracks this year set off in a different direction, towards the lorry park.

Another major addition at Belsay is the introduction of a live scoring system. Results from the dressage, show jumping and cross country will be fed in live to a computer system which will then be beamed to television screens in the public scores and corporate hospitality tents.

Belsay is not just about horses. There are a host of different family attractions on offer this year including a climbing wall, pony rides, archery and TurboVenture armoured vehicles.

There will also be a range of food available, including an artisan bakery and a speciality German food seller, as well as more than 40 trade stands.

Global British lifestyle brand Barbour will be sponsoring the event for the second year running. In celebration of the partnership, it has launched the best-dressed attendee competition.

Barbour’s photographer will be on the hunt for the best Barbour-clad attendees on the opening day of the event, snapping both competitors and spectators alike.

The photographs will then be posted on the brand’s Barbour People Tumblr page, where visitors to the site will be able to share and like their favourite looks from the day.

The attendee whose photograph receives the most likes and shares on the Barbour People page will win a full outfit from Barbour’s new Equestrian Collection.

Barbour and Bond Dickinson lead a host of top company names sponsoring Belsay Horse Trials. Others include UBS, Ryecroft Glenton, Cussins Homes, Benfield, Living North, Lycetts, Activ – Hello Technology, Gibson & Co, Brewin Dolphin, Sanlam Private Wealth, Go As you Please, Land Factor, Rural Solutions, Hutchinsons Environmental Solutions, The Tilery Equestrian Centre, Gaisford Fencing and Thomas Miller Auctioneers.

For more information, including the show timetable and admission details, visit belsayhorsetrials.co.uk or call 01661 881206.