Rockingham International announces change of direction for cross country course
For the first time since the event began in 2013, the Fairfax & Favor Rockingham International Horse Trials (Friday 17 to Sunday 19 May) will run its cross country in an anti-clockwise direction around the castle’s Great Park.
The change of direction has enabled the event’s course builder and designer, David Carpenter, and his team to utilise the rolling parkland at Rockingham and to make the most of the incredible vistas across the valley.
“The views are a great feature of Rockingham,” says David. “There are not many sites now where you get to work with them.
“Changing the direction in which the course runs, has allowed us to put the water at the far end of the test now and ask some different types of questions at the beginning – including the Fairfax & Favor Complex, which is the first combination on the course.”
The fences in this combination have been specially built this year for the event’s Title sponsor, Fairfax & Favor, and are set against the stunning backdrop of the castle. This is the second year that the event will be sponsored by the luxury lifestyle brand, Fairfax & Favor. Seeking to bridge the gap between style and adventure with their innovative range of shoes, bags and boots. This quintessentially British brand is the perfect fit for Rockingham International.
David has designed and built the courses for the BE100 up to the CCI-S2* and has worked with Captain Mark Phillips, who has designed the intermediate and CCI-S3*, to produce those tracks.
“We’ve really tried to give Rockingham a feel-good factor this year,” he continues. “Both with the dressing that we’re doing and with the big, bold fences that we have built.
“Everyone should have a good time here and feel like they’ve jumped round at a prestigious competition, whether you’re in the BE100 or the three star. There’s a good level of questions for everyone, so you’ve got to be brave and keep riding all the way round the course.”
Castle owners, James and Lizzie Saunders Watson are excited to see how the course rides in this new direction: “We are delighted to be offering a fresh challenge here at Rockingham in our seventh year. It will give our regular competitors the opportunity to see the park in a new light,” says Lizzie. “We believe the courses that David Carpenter and Captain Mark Phillips have produced will enable everyone to enjoy a great weekend of sport.”
Riders from 19 nations will compete over the three days, so there will be plenty of opportunities for eventing fans to see their favourite riders in action. In addition to the international classes, the Loomes Championship will also return this year – where the Advanced Intermediate or Open Intermediate competitor who completes the cross country course closest to the optimum time will receive the hugely generous prize of a hand-produced watch made by Robert Loomes & Co in Stamford. With previous winners including Sir Mark Todd, Oliver Townend and Jonty Evans – you can be sure to see some top-class cross country action as riders battle it out for this sought-after prize.
The Horse Trials offer a great day out for all the family, with plenty to see and do. It is the ultimate treat for any horse lover but there is something for everyone, with a wide range of trade stands to be explored and a variety of delicious food and drink stands on site selling everything from coffee and cake to ostrich burgers! There is even a have-a-go dog agility ring so canine family members can get involved.
In addition to the eventing classes there will also be Pony Club Team Show Jumping, Riding Club Team Show Jumping, Arena Eventing classes and qualifiers for the prestigious Burghley Young Event Horse happening over the three days. For a full schedule of what’s on and when visit www.rockinghamcastlehorsetrials.com/what-to-see-do
Ticket prices start from just £10 for adults and £3 for children, with children aged five and under getting in free. There is still time to get a 10% discount if you purchase e-tickets online before the event – enter the code HT1910 when booking. For more information and to book tickets visit www.rockinghamcastlehorsetrials.com.