The Festival of British Eventing 2015
- Credit: Archant
The Festival of British Eventing, presented by the British Equestrian Trade Association (August 7-9) and held within the beautiful surroundings of Gatcombe Park, is truly one of the Cotswold summer events not to be missed
Taking place on the second weekend in August the Festival of British Eventing is a great opportunity for families to get away and immerse themselves in the best of what the sport and the Cotswolds have to offer. Competitors of the very highest calibre battle it out for the coveted titles of British Open, British Intermediate and British Novice Champion.
This year, for the first time, a fourth British title is up for grabs, that of the British Restricted Novice Champion. It is open to amateur riders only and gives the grassroots of the sport the opportunity to compete on Gatcombe’s hallowed turf, the home of HRH The Princess Royal.
The adrenaline-filled cross country takes centre stage during the weekend, with no better place to view the action than the Park Bowl. With the water complex in the valley below, Captain Mark Phillips’ famously undulating course unfolds in front of you, leaving you able to view much of the action in one place.
The Festival main arena hosts the showjumping phase of the competition and then transforms to become centre stage for the family entertainment. The favourites include Dressage to Music, the Hound Parade, Scurry Driving, and the Shetland Pony Grand National; indeed, the Festival would not be the same without the Shetland ponies, but this year things are a little different. For the first time at Gatcombe Park the Kangeroo Kid will add to the excitement with a thrilling display of dare devil stunts and athleticism, mirroring the bravery of our equestrians – but on four wheels, rather than four legs. Becoming a member of the Hamptons International Garden Club allows you to enjoy all the main arena has to offer within the comfortable surroundings of the fully catered hospitality marquee.
The second arena will be brought more into focus this year; it has always held the ever popular Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse Series, but this year it will play a more prominent roll with Pony Club Mounted Games, Dog Fly Ball and a demonstration of Dog Agility. You can also ‘have a go’ and put your own dog through its paces.
Beyond the main arena are the avenues of quality shops allowing you to purchase everything from country fashion, Land Rovers, anything you or your horse could possibly desire as well as the unique and in many cases bespoke gifts available in the rural craft tent. The Festival Food Walk is back, offering delights inspired from around the world as well as the best the Cotswolds have to offer.
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A short stroll from the main event is the caravan park; staying here allows you and the family to be a part of the action all weekend, giving you plenty of opportunities to enjoy the entertainment, shop to your heart’s content and of course follow some of the most hotly contested eventing titles around. The question is can you afford to miss this most unique of Cotswold weekends?
For more information on the Festival of British Eventing presented by the British Equestrian Trade Association, August 7-9, Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire, and to take advantage of advance and family ticket prices go to gatcombe-horse.co.uk,follow on Facebook, Twitter @GatcombeHorse and Instagram #GAT15.