With spring on the horizon, the organising team at the Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials has stepped up the pace in preparation for this year’s event, 6 – 9 June. The park is coming to life, the estate staff are busily preparing, work continues on Ian Stark’s show piece cross country and sales through the box office continue to come in. Annually, the event showcases a charity and through the generosity of our competitors, officials, volunteers and visitors, raise vital funds to help further their cause. For 2019, the team is proud to announce The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association as our partner.

With over 360,000 people in the UK registered blind or partially sighted and the total rising by one every hour, Guide Dogs for the Blind provides a range of services, including Guide Dogs, to ensure that people living with a visual impairment can lead full and independent lives. Currently, Guide Dogs has 5000 partnerships but there’s around 750 people on a wait list, so they need help to bring on further dogs.

In Leeds and the surrounding areas, Guide Dogs supports around 170 partnerships and train approximately 40 new guide does each year. Each partnership costs £56,000 and they receive very little government funding so Bramham is delighted to be a part of the 2019 fund raising activities. Local Guide Dog owner Helen, from Wetherby, explains how Yuppi transformed not only her life, but her family’s too; “When I lost my sight four years ago, I felt lost. I lost my independence, my confidence and my sense of adventure. My life was put on pause. I continued to care for my children and get by day-to-day, but I stopped enjoying my life. Then I met and was matched with Yuppi.
“We trained, qualified and became a partnership. With Yuppi by my side, I can adventure again; I can do anything! He’s given my children back their real mum and he’s given me my life back. Thank you Guide Dogs for the Blind.”

Guide Dogs for the Blind will be on site for the duration of Bramham with a prime location in the 120-strong tradestand village. Visitors can meet some established partnerships – plus perhaps some pups in training – and learn more about the work of this treasured national charity whilst supporting them with a welcomed donation.

Over the weekend, visitors can catch a live obstacle course display by Orientation and Mobility specialists Helen, and her demo dog ‘Pip’ the black Labrador. Watch the duo tackle a replica street scene and show how the dog navigates his handler through obstacles and stops when it’s unsafe. Time permitting, volunteers will have a chance to learn what it’s like to be guided by a guide dog while blind folded. Catch Helen and Pip in action on Saturday at 4pm in the Equi-Trek Arena and then at 3:30pm on Sunday in the TopSpec Arena.

Bramham Event Director Nicholas Pritchard commented; “We’re delighted to be working with Guide Dogs this year. Last year, we topped £100,000 raised in eight years of supporting a partner and hope that we, and our loyal crowd of around 50,000 supporters, can help raise a significant amount to help Guide Dogs. It’d be amazing if we could say that Bramham helped to fund a partnership so we’re calling on everyone to be extra generous this year.

“The coming weeks are the most exciting as we build towards the event with everything taking shape before the final countdown begins. There’s a few changes in store so watch this space, but much of what everyone loves about Bramham – the family fun, the great sporting challenge, the thrilling atmosphere and, of course, one of Britain’s most beautiful settings, will never change. Roll on June when we can open our gates to you all!”

Bramham features three world class eventing classes in one; the showcase Equi-Trek CCI4*L, our rising stars in the British Horse Feeds u25 CCI4*L and the short format CCI4*S and with the Tokyo Olympic being the target for many riders next year, Bramham 2019 could, as ever, prove pivotal for discovering new stars and cementing strong partnerships for teams from around the globe.

Alongside the eventing, there’s top flight showjumping action, showing and breeding classes, Young Horse qualifiers and Pony Club activities so there’s always something to watch in our two competition arenas. Away from the equestrian action, there’s shopping with something for everyone, entertainment, the Yorkshire Food Hall, Rural Crafts and a huge array of food outlets for every palate.

The Box Office is open – you can join us for the day, become a member for the week or get up close and personal with a camping package; there’s a range of options and you can build your own Bramham experience online at http://bramham-horse.co.uk/visitor-info/faqs/ and book online http://bramham-horse.co.uk/tickets/
Follow Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials news via the website www.bramham-horse.co.uk or like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/bramhamhorsetrials) or follow us on Twitter (@BramhamPark) and Instagram (bramhamhorse).

Bramham Press Contact: Winnie Murphy, Press Officer – winsome22@live.co.uk or 07967 186556. Photography to accompany release available on request.

The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association: Jo Stevens, email: Jo.Stevens@guidedogs.org.uk