Major equestrian event to be staged at the weekend

Action from a previous Burgham Horse Trials. David Thompson/DLT Photography.
Action from a previous Burgham Horse Trials. David Thompson/DLT Photography.

Final preparations are underway ahead of a three-day international equestrian event which starts tomorrow.

The Burgham International Horse Trials runs until Sunday and will see a number of top riders compete.

Burgham Horse Trials international rider Caroline Powell riding The Earl of Belvedere in the dressage.

Burgham Horse Trials international rider Caroline Powell riding The Earl of Belvedere in the dressage.

The prestigious spectacle, which is run by a voluntary committee, was awarded international status last year and is the only equestrian event in the North East to feature advanced-level competitors.

Olympic medallist Andrew Hoy, as well as Paul Tapner, a previous winner of the Badminton Horse Trials, are just two of the international riders set to compete this weekend.

Martyn Johnson, from the Burgham International Horse Trials’ organising committee, said: “Things are shaping up nicely ahead of this weekend’s Burgham International Horse Trials.

“We’re looking forward to a great weekend of quality equestrian action featuring some of the biggest names from the sport and we really hope the public will come out to enjoy the occasion.

Louise Whitaker competing at the Burgham Horse Trials. Picture by Trevor Walker.

Louise Whitaker competing at the Burgham Horse Trials. Picture by Trevor Walker.

“The list reads like a who’s who of the eventing world and is still growing by the day with more than 500 entries received so far. However, Burgham is so important to our grassroots riders, who will enjoy the thrill of competing over a challenging cross-country course.”

Title sponsor, The Owen Pugh Group, has been helping organisers prepare for the sporting spectacle.

Over the past three weeks, a team of builders, headed by Paul Ellis, have been working on site under instruction from Olympic course-builder, David Evans, who has designed the track.

Three hundred acres of rolling countryside have been transformed to accommodate five tracks featuring an average of between 20 and 30 efforts per course, totalling around 150 fences with heights ranging from 90cm to 1.20m at different levels of class.

Lindsay Aspden taking part in the Burgham Horse Trials. Photo by Trevor Walker.

Lindsay Aspden taking part in the Burgham Horse Trials. Photo by Trevor Walker.

Owen Pugh has been instrumental in helping to build the extension to water and the company has also provided ground materials and dug out the hollow fence in preparation for the second international event at Burgham, which is staged in the summer.

New mounds have also been built using the company’s earth-moving skills.

Final touches to decorate and theme the jumps to represent sponsors are now underway.

Owen Pugh, which delivers full service civil-engineering projects across the North East and North Yorkshire, was announced as the event’s title sponsor in January after sponsoring the event for the first time in 2014.

Its support extends across this weekend, as well as the summer event.

Mr Johnson said that Owen Pugh has offered fantastic help and support with the final course preparations.

John Dickson, chairman of The Owen Pugh Group, said: “Burgham International Horse Trials is the only international event of its kind in the North East and something that the whole region should be proud of.

“I’m delighted that Owen Pugh is title sponsor for the second year running, working alongside the organising committee to further cement the event’s position as one of the most significant national and international equestrian events in the sporting calendar.”

This year, Burgham is supporting The Jack Berry House as its chosen charity. The facility is a new rehabilitation centre for injured jockeys, based in Malton.

Tickets are available to buy online and are priced at £8 per adult, £3 per child, £20 for a family pass (two adults and two children) or they can be purchased on the gate.

For further information about the Burgham International Horse Trials or to buy tickets, visit the website www.burghamhorsetrials.co.uk or call 0191 4328870. Alternatively, visit the Facebook page.