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Prime Minister Teresa May currently has one important word on her mind; EXIT. As she prepares her plans for Britain leaving the European Union, at Bramham, the team have seven ‘E’ words of their own at the forefront of their plans for this year’s main event, the Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials (8 – 11 June 2017).
1) EVENTING – it’s of course the main reason we head to the historic venue in God’s Country, Yorkshire. Three world-class competitions combine to bring four days of the best eventing action anywhere. With over £18,500 in prizemoney, the event’s showcase is the Equi-Trek CCI*** and British Olympians William Fox-Pitt, aka ‘Mr Bramham’, and local heroine Nicola Wilson are usual competitors. The Bishop Burton College Under 25 CCI3* is the place to spot the stars of the future while the British Equestrian Trade Association CIC3*, the sport’s shorter version, is perfect for fine tuning the experienced horses or giving up and coming equines an all-important test to move up the ranks.
2) EXTRAS – it’s not all about the three phase sport, there’s plenty more on offer. Top flight showjumping including qualifiers for the prestigious Horse of the Year Show and Sunday’s curtain closer, the Wetherby Skips Grand Prix. Future stars are on show in the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse qualifiers for four and five year olds as well as the Event Horse Breeding classes for youngsters (foal to three years). There’s Hunter Showing too which draws a huge entry. Plus, don’t forget the local Pony Clubs who’ll be battling it out in showjumping and mounted games over the weekend. Altogether, some 500 horses will leave hoof prints on the Bramham turf over the four days.
3) EXERCISE – a trip to Bramham wouldn’t be complete without a walk around Ian Stark’s stunning cross country courses. There’s been some major investment over winter at everyone’s favourite, the main water fence with hundreds of tonnes of earth moved to create a new ‘lake’. Take in the park’s land marks; glean a view of the house from the South Terrace, cross Lord Bingley’s Walk and imagine romantic liaisons of the past at the Round House.
4) ENTERTAINMENT – away from all things equine, there’s plenty to do. A pop-up tented shopping village awaits where you can buy pretty much anything so remember to pack the flexible friend. Make sure a tradestand stop at our 2017 nominated charity, Hope Pastures, based in nearby Leeds which helps rescue, rehabilitate ad re-home horses and donkeys is on your ‘to do list’. They’re offering a ‘bag drop’ for visitors so you can park your shopping while you walk the course, or free your arms for more spending! For the kids, both large and small, a visit to the ‘Action and Adventure in Yorkshire’ area is a must. Challenges for all ages await in the form of quad bikes, Segways, Zorb Balls and a bungee trampoline. Plus, your canine friends have entertainment of their own courtesy of the Tailwaggers Club and if they need a rest, the Samsalin Dog Rescue Crèche can help for a small donation.
5) EATING – all that country air is going to give visitors quite an appetite and there’s plenty to choose from. There’s a range of over 20 fast food outlets with a huge variety or pay a visit to the Food Hall to sample a selection of the wares on offer – and purchase! Fancy something more formal? Our Members Bar does snacks or even a meal the Members Bistro (members badge required for entry – available to purchase from our website). Alternatively, go five star and treat yourself, clients or friends to hospitality in our arena side marquee – hurry as the demand is high here, Sunday is already sold out. Of course, there are plenty of vendors supplying liquid refreshment to accompany your meal!
6) EXPERIENCE – we like to provide our visitors not just a day out, but an experience. Tickets are currently on sale and booking ahead saves you money! Tickets can be bought for day, weekend or season packages at a discount up until 4 June. Purchase an advanced car pass for just £2 which gives access on all four days – if you wait to buy ‘on the gate’, it’s £5 per day. Why not be at the heart of the action and come and stay? Our camping and caravan packages mean you won’t miss a thing – but hurry, they’re proving as popular as ever. Enhance your ‘Bramham experience’ with an upgrade to members’ tickets which gives you access to the ringside pavilion and ‘smart loos’. We run an ‘e-ticket’ system so you can print at home or save to your mobile device.
7) EXCITEMENT – had to save this until last! The elegance of dressage, the thrills (and sometimes spills) of cross country, tense show jumping, nail biting competition, awesome adventure in the ‘Zone’ and the emotion of it all combine to give you a trip to remember.
The action is never far away whichever day you visit – just the one or all four. Thursday and Friday feature the eventing dressage alongside the showing classes. Saturday the eventing action moves out into the park where the three sections tackle the cross country courses lovingly hand built by David Evans and his team. The British Showjumping classes take over the main Equi-Trek Arena while the Pony Club are in action in the Top Spec Arena. Sunday, it’s all about the coloured poles. Three eventing champions will be crowned while the fences will be raised for the final BS classes.
Event Director Nicholas Pritchard commented; “It’s been a busy start to the year at Bramham with a number of exciting projects across the estate and park. The water jump excavations have been spectacular with huge machinery involved but it’ll be impressive by the time the event is here. The new area gives Ian [Stark] flexibility and I’m certain he’ll come up with some interesting ‘head scratchers’ for the riders to figure out and spectators to enjoy. We’re looking forward to welcoming everyone to our own piece of Yorkshire heaven in nine weeks’ time.”
Adult entry starts from £11 and children 12 and under go free with a paying adult. Tickets can be booked securely on-line anytime until 4 June.
The Bramham website is the perfect place for all the latest news and ticketing information/booking or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Visit www.bramham-horse.co.uk, @BramhamPark or www.facebook.com/bramhamhorsetrials.