Bicton Arena 's summer of eventing
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Bicton cross country 26 Jun 17

Bicton Arena 's summer of eventing

Bicton Arena (2), 8th – 9th July

The glorious parklands of Bicton Arena come under the spotlight during the second weekend of July (8-9) when its second British Eventing-affiliated Horse Trials take place.

Classes ranging from BE80T to Open Novice will be staged, attracting both grass roots riders and those riding horses that are moving up through the levels.

Measures have been implemented to ease the ground including intensive sward maintenance using the arena’s Terra Spike Verti-Drain, which has resulted in vigorous growth and deep rooting thereby allow the dense grass to have a cushion effect.

Arena manager and course designer Helen West said “Since purchasing a Terra Spike Verti-Drain last autumn, the ground at Bicton has really benefited resulting in a dense covering of grass which eases the impact when galloping and jumping on the terrain. We’ve been delighted with the result. The exceptional grass growth, together with other measures in the lead up to the horse trials, such as sanding where necessary, will mean we are able to produce safe going.”

Strong entries for the event have been received from across the levels with the BE80(T) and BE90 classes particularly well supported.

Helen said: “The aim of my courses is to give those at the lower levels a positive experience and wanting to go out and have another go, while still feeling they have achieved something by completing. I think Bicton’s reputation for building tracks that really encourage riders has grown, resulting in fantastic entries,” said Helen.

The event has attained support of some prestigious local sponsors, including Leonard Coombe Master Saddlers and Country Life at Newton Abbot, Messrs John Bevan and Pete Appleford, Stags, Redpost Equestrian at Totnes, Wyvern Equestrian Products, West of England Stabling and Sheepham Saddles. Other sponsors include Protexin and KBIS.

Bicton Arena has also announced Exeter Racecourse and Horse Pursuit as sponsors of the young horse classes at its international horse trials on August 18-20.

Bicton Arena International (3), 18th – 20th August

Exeter Racecourse will sponsor the £500 prize for the best placed seven-year-old in the Rathbones CIC2* while Horse Pursuit will provide the same amount for the best placed six-year-old in the Empire Coach Builders CIC*.

Exeter’s general manager Daniel Thompson said: “We are delighted to be supporting such a fantastic venue which plays host to an important competition for the West Country, attracting top level riders from far and wide. We are very much looking forward to attending.”

Megan Wilkinson of Horse Pursuit, a national hub for buying, selling and advertising horses, said: “I have competed at Bicton for a number of years and I am delighted to support the August horse trials. It’s a wonderful venue that is beautifully run and offers a great shop window for my business which gives people an easy way to both advertise their horses and find them online using refined search options.”

The event is Devon’s second international of the season, and looks set to attract competitors from far and wide, including many eventing personalities such as local legend Mary King, William Fox-Pitt, Sir Mark Todd and Andrew Nicholson who all competed last year.

Organiser Helen West said: “We are so grateful for the support of sponsors like our local racecourse Exeter and Horse Pursuit who make it possible for us to stage the bigger competitions which are so important for the Westcountry, by providing a venue that does not require south-west based riders to travel miles in order to gain valuable points in international classes.”