One of our favourite events of the year is just around the corner; Burghley Horse Trials begins on Thursday 30thAugust and ends on Sunday 2nd of September. A mixture of top level equestrian sport, luxury shopping and good food, the event attracts people from all over the world; along with their well-behaved dogs! The main attraction is of course the three-day event, spread over four days:
On Thursday and Friday each horse and rider combination take their turn in the arena for their dressage test. This tests the basic training of the horse; the judges are looking for regularity and rhythm in the horses movements, a steady acceptance of the contact and aids from the rider among a list of other critiques. Each rider is given a score which is then turned into a number of penalties, the idea being, to keep the number of penalties gained throughout the competition as low as possible.
The most exciting day of the event comes around on Saturday when each combination will tackle the Cross-Country course. A real test of the stamina and agility, the course is made up of 34 fences each varying in difficulty. Watch out for the Cottesmore Leap; now known as the scariest fence in eventing. Riders have an optimum time to complete the course with time penalties a possibility. If you like walking, then make the most of this day and walk at least part the course. The grounds of Burghley House are breath-taking so it’s a chance to take in some of the beautiful scenery whilst also enjoying the event.
The last day of the competition sees the combinations take on the show jumping course in reverse order from current last place to through to whoever is in first place overnight after cross-country. It’s a nail-biting phase of the competition as many riders often sit quite closely in terms of points up until this point. One fence down can change the whole leader board. Last year saw Oliver Townend take the trophy with a further three Brits taking the next three places on the leader board. Who will be the winner this year? We can’t wait to find out!
There is much more than just the equestrian competition to see. There is a whole shopping village to enjoy with lovely quality clothing, homewares and pet products. There is a dedicated dog crèche open every day where you can leave your pup for a couple of hours at a time (ideal if you want to spend time in a more crowded pavilion or want to sit in the main arena). Whilst the event does welcome dogs, do be considerate to other visitors and the horses by keeping dogs on a short lead at all times. This is especially important on cross-country day; you wouldn’t want your four-legged friends running loose on the course!! It’s well worth checking the official Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials website for up to date information about this years event. It also has accurate information about bringing dogs and the opening times for the dog crêche.
If you make it to the event we’d love to hear about your day; send us your pictures of you and your dog’s enjoying your visit. Send your messages and pictures to email@example.com and we might even share them on our social media!
If you have any questions about this article or something more general do let us know. We can be contacted on LiveChat and telephone during office hours or you can pop us an e-mail. We’re always happy to help in any way we can.