Gatcombe (1) Horse Trials 2011 Preview

with many thanks to John Foden

The Land Rover Gatcombe Park Novice and Intermediate Event (Saturday-Sunday March 26-27th) near Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire, is once again a key fixture for international riders as they build up their spring campaign.

Riders from 12 nations are represented within the 600+ entry, including regular British team members William Fox-Pitt, Daisy Berkeley (nee Dick) and Lucy Wiegersma, rising stars Kitty King and Laura Collett, and multiple Olympic and world medallists Andrew Nicholson and Mark Todd of New Zealand plus Australian Andrew Hoy. Whilst, Gatcombe based Zara Phillips will be competing on both Saturday and Sunday, riding six horses from amongst her current string.

Other leading riders entered in the event are Britain’s Oliver Townend and American Liz Halliday-Sharp who combines her event riding with a successful motor racing career. Local regulars include Julie Tew and Harry Meade and also Frenchman Leonard Goerens who is based in nearby Crudwell.

Now in its 19th year of running, with continuous support from Land Rover, the event takes place on a course designed by HRH The Princess Royal and her event organiser Pattie Biden, utilising a different area of the Gatcombe Park Estate to that used by the Festival of British Eventing.

Starting at 9.00am on both days, dressage, show jumping and cross-country phases run throughout. The event attracts many interesting shops, which will include the Gatcombe Collection. At various times during both days, HRH The Princess Royal will present prizes.

Gatcombe Park is situated at Hampton Fields, mid-way between Minchinhampton and Avening; the event will be signposted from both directions. Spectator admission is £6 for a car and occupants and £4 for a programme.

For full information about directions accommodation, timetable and all entries visit our web site