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New year, new charity, new website, new tickets, new award!

We’re ringing in the changes for this year’s Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials, 5 – 8 June. As the UK’s third largest spectator horse trials, Bramham is always developing the event to give our supporters the best experience possible. We ended 2013 on a high with a shiny new award for the office; the Animal Health Trust Eventing Award. For 2014, the event is upping the technology stakes with a new website and e-ticket system to give our customers a great experience. Keeping with tradition however, our nominated charity for this year will be the Mark Davies Injured Riders Fund.

Late in 2013, a mini-version of the vibrant new website was launched and in the coming weeks, the full, totally interactive site will be unveiled. Coupled with this is a new e-ticket system developed by partners NCI where visitors print their tickets at home – no more lost tickets in the post! The system is simple to use and helps to keep prices down. To celebrate, there’s some amazing pre-event discounts when you buy tickets on-line plus there’s free parking – a £5 charge if you buy on the gate.

Our charitable choice this year, the Mark Davies Injured Riders Fund (MDIRF) supports people who have suffered a horse-related accident with advice and moral, practical or financial support. Statistics tell us riders are 20 times more likely to have an accident on a horse than a motorbike. On average, two people per month are left paralysed from a horse fall and many others are left permanently disabled through severe head injuries. The dangers are real but the MDIRF is on hand to help. They help people from all walks of life, regardless of how the accident occurred and anyone could qualify for assistance to improve or maintain their quality of life. Help is also extended to victim’s family and friends as they often become carers. The MDIRF are well-known in the equestrian world; founder Jane Davies set the charity up after the death of her son Mark in an eventing accident at Burghley in 1988. The fantastic team from MDIRF are planning some great fund raising activities during the event plus they’ll have a trade stand in the shopping village where you can find out more about what they do.

Rosemary Lang, Fund Chief Co-ordinator commented; “All at the MDIRF are truly excited to be working with the Bramham team and we’re delighted to be involved with this popular event. We’re looking forward to a great week of fund raising and really want to get the spectators and riders involved. After all, if you ride or work with a horse, you may need us one day; so it’s a case of riders helping riders.”

With three major competition titles up for grabs in the Equi-Trek CCI***, the British Equestrian Trade Association CIC*** and the Bishop Burton College Under 25 CCI***, it’s four full days of full on eventing action. As well as the eventing, the event hosts top-flight show jumping, showing classes, young horse sections and Pony Club show jumping and mounted games. Plus, family entertainments, main ring shows, amazing food outlets and over 130 prime trade stands all combine to make Bramham an award winner for the second year running! Following on from our BETA Event of the Year award, we claimed the 2013 Animal Health Trust Eventing Award; another proud moment for the Bramham team. So, make this your not-to-be-missed fixture of 2014, you won’t be disappointed!

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Equi-Trek sign up as Title Sponsors for 3rd year running

Internationally renowned horse transport manufacturers Equi-Trek have signed for a third year as title sponsors of the Bramham International Horse Trials, uniting two of Yorkshire’s greats once again. Next year’s event will run 5 – 8 June and will feature three world-class eventing sections. The Equi-Trek CCI*** has a certain ‘star spotting’ quality with a number of horses who perform well here going on to greater glory at World and European level, notably our 2012 and 2013 winners William Fox-Pitt and Chilli Morning who won individual bronze at the European Championships in September. The British Equestrian Trade Association CIC*** which is a great opportunity for both up and coming and experienced horses over one of the leading cross country tests courtesy of Ian Stark’s course while the Bishop Burton College CCI***U25 gives leading young riders their taste of the big time.

Across the three sections, a total prize fund of in excess of £36,000 will be up for grabs thanks to the support of Equi-Trek and our other sponsors. In addition to a cash prize of at least £5000, the CCI*** winner will also take custody of keys to a Equi-Trek Sonic two-horse box for a year

Tom Janion, Managing Director of Equi-Trek, commented; It gives us enormous pleasure to again be title sponsors of the world renowned Bramham Horse Trials, as the leading horse trials in the North of England it is highly appropriate that we give our support to this unique Yorkshire event. Our sponsorship enables us to put “something back” therefore saying a big thank you, to the equestrian world, which over the last 12yrs has supported our company, even through a deep recession, allowing us to grow into probably the largest and most successful horse box manufacturer in Europe. We wish the highly professional hard working team at Bramham, continued success and growth in 2014, which will undoubtedly be achieved because of their outstanding dedication and attention to detail, as a like-minded company I hope we can offer them our support for many years to come.

The Box Office for the Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials is open on-line on 01 December so visit bramham-horse.co.uk to secure your tickets and take advantage of free parking. Booking your tickets in advance helps beat the queues on arrival and if you’re looking to camp on-site, these are always the first tickets to sell out so reserve your place now! Telephone bookings open on 01 May.

Event Director Nicholas Pritchard is looking forward to 2014; “2013 was once again a bumper year for us. We had a boost in prize money which was welcomed by the competitors, Ian Stark excelled himself with his cross country course and we had a fantastic crowd. Plus, it was our 40th birthday so it was a week-long celebration for us all! We’re extremely grateful to Equi-Trek and our loyal band of sponsors who support us year on year and allow us to continuously improve the event. I’m proud of the reputation we’ve built up as one of the favourite events amongst competitors and spectators. However, we won’t rest on our laurels – planning for 2014 is well underway and the improvements will keep on coming!”

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Photo Competition

Sara Reynard has once again triumphed in the Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials’ Photo Competition, with a fabulous photo of Alexander Peternell from South Africa riding AP Topstar jumping in front of the House.

Sarah won the inaugural Photo Competition in 2010, so was surprised and delighted to have won again. Sara, from Botcheston in Leicestershire, is a semi-professional photographer who specialises in equestrian and pet photography. Sarah is part of the team who run the Horse Inspections at Bramham on the Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, so when she is not concentrating on that, her camera is firmly in her hand and having won the competition before, she looks for scenarios that might fit well on the front cover.

Sarah said that as soon as she saw the Speedi-Beet ‘40’, she thought that as a new fence, and particularly as it had such a lovely view of the House in the background, that it might just be what the judges were looking for. How right she was! When the picture was mocked-up as the front cover, it really did capture ‘Bramham Horse Trials’.

Runner up was Dave Mead from Kirkbymoorside, North Yorkshire, with a stunning picture of William Fox-Pitt and Chilli Morning at the Horse and Hound Leap of Faith. All of the judges picked this picture as a finalist, but once mocked-up, it just didn’t work quite so well as a cover shot – but it will most definitely feature within the Programme itself!

Judge and Event President, Nick Lane Fox said ‘The standard was as high as ever and I’m sure that it gets harder and harder to decide on the winner, but the winner and the runner up photos really did stand out from the pack and we are delighted with next year’s cover. It’s a real ‘stand out’ cover, and it really does capture everything about Bramham’.

Sarah will receive a pair of Season Members’ badges for next year’s Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials, 5th – 8th June 2014 – and she’ll definitely be bringing her camera…will you?

WINNER – Sara Reynard
RUNNER UP – Dave Mead

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Magnificent 7 for Fox Pitt

The nail-biting show jumping phase on the final day of the Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials, Sunday 9 June provided a fitting finale to two amazing competitions on Bramham’s big 40th birthday. Our two champions were Tom McEwen in the Bishop Burton College u25 CCI3* and a staggering seventh title for William Fox-Pitt in the Equi-Trek CCI3*.

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World’s elite gather for the Battle of Bramham

Britain’s Olympic team silver medal trio William Fox-Pitt, Zara Phillips and local star Nicola Wilson top a star studded entry of over 140 riders from 11 countries across three eventing competitions for this year’s Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials, 6 – 9 June. Leading riders Pippa Funnell, Oliver Townend, Piggy French and Laura Collett are just a few names among an eventing who’s who for the home side while a strong international entry is topped by fierce challengers from New Zealand, Ireland, Germany, Italy and France, who always bring a top class entry. The riders will compete across three sections; the Equi-Trek CCI3*, the British Equestrian Trade Association CIC3* and the Bishop Burton College U25 CCI3*.

All three British Olympians have excellent spring form with their Bramham rides and will head to Yorkshire in high spirits, which is just as well as four days of 40th birthday celebrations are anticipated alongside top class sporting action! William will be aiming for a staggering seventh Bramham victory and he bring last year’s winner Chilli Morning, owned by the Stones, after a trip to the USA didn’t quite go to plan, so the chestnut stallion has re-routed to Bramham in the Equi-Trek CCI3*. William also has Running Order, a new addition to his string in the CCI and Before Time in the CIC, both owned by Mandy Gray. Zara has two CCI rides in Lord Lauries and Gledhill Stud’s Black Tuxedo and Nicola makes the short journey with Beltane Queen, owned by Ann Robson and Valerie Robson, and her mum Mary Tweddle’s Annie Clover, also in the CCI.

Four of the five Olympic team bronze medallists from the New Zealand team are competing, namely Badminton winner Jonathan Paget with two in the British Equestrian Trade Association CIC3*, Jonelle Richards, Caroline Powell and Sir Mark Todd. For France, Donatien Schauly makes a welcome return after he claimed the CIC and U25 sections in 2010 plus top riders Sidney Dufresne, Cedric Lyard and young sensation Nicolas Astier who returns to defend his Bishop Burton College U25 title. Anna Warnecke (GER), Austin O’Connor (IRL), Andrew Heffernan (NED) and Vittoria Panizzon (ITA) are a few more of the international names to watch out for across the sections.

Dressage for the CCI and CIC sections gets underway on Thursday 6 June while all three sections will be in the main arena in the white boards on Friday. Saturday is the big spectator day which starts with CIC show jumping and then all will tackle Ian Stark’s fabulous cross country course set in the rolling Bramham Park. Ian commented that “the Park is the best I’ve ever seen it and the going is perfect” ahead of the event. First off will be the CCI section, then the under 25s before the CIC set off to establish the winner of the £1,500 first prize. Sunday is the day when fortunes are won and lost in the Equi-Trek Arena at the drop of a coloured pole in the show jumping. The U25s are first on before the final CCI section and with over £27,000 on offer across the two sections, a clear round will be firmly on the riders’ minds. To ensure, however, the CCI riders minds are truly focused on the task in hand, Equi-Trek are giving the winner the use of a two horse lorry for the year, William Fox Pitt described this last year as ‘an incredible prize’.

Over the weekend there’s a host of top level pure show jumping in Bramham’s Equi-Trek Arena. Top names entered include Keith Shore, Tracy Newman and host of Whitakers, namely Joe, Thomas and Donald. Saturday afternoon features The Bramham Classic while those glued to the cross country in the park can head back to the tradestand area to catch the Great Yorkshire Show Pony Club Mounted Games – and of course make those last minute purchases from the 140 shops. On Sunday, the action switches to the TopSpec Arena for the Pairs Relay where jumpers pair up for a fast and furious competition against the clock. The afternoon comes to a close with the Wetherby Skip Services Grand Prix, the wealthiest jumping class on offer, with a £1,500 first prize.
Event Director Nicholas Pritchard commented “In 2013, we’re delighted to welcome back one of our long standing partners; as Land Rover return after a year’s gap as our official vehicle supplier.” Spectators will see their range of Britain’s favourite 4×4 vehicles in action all over the park as well as the chance to visit them in the tradestand area to learn all about their iconic models. Land Rover’s Sponsorship and Partnership Manager, Richard Duncan, commented: “Land Rover is proud to return to Bramham as the official vehicle supplier, not only supporting the event and riders, but also demonstrating our on-going support for Equestrian sport and country pursuits.”

Bramham will also host a number of classes in the Dodson & Horrell Hunter Show on Thursday including Horse of the Year Show qualifiers for light, middle & heavy weight and working Hunters while the Great Yorkshire Show Pony Club Mounted Games will feature in the TopSpec Arena on both Saturday and Sunday plus the Country Store Pony Club Team Jumping on Saturday. Always with an eye on the future, young horses will also feature heavily with Bramham hosting a Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse four and five year old qualifier for the prestigious Championship in September, plus Trot2 Event Horse Breeding and Young Stock Classes for foals to three year olds.