THE FESTIVAL OF THE HORSE 2000

26-28 August Bank Holiday Weekend

Entries remain High for Highclere

Well over 200 entries have been received for the two day International Horse Trials at Highclere Castle - the feature event of The Festival of the Horse 2000 at Highclere Castle, near Newbury over the Bank Holiday weekend - with the majority of the dressage and show jumping taking place on Sunday 27 August and the cross country and remainder of the earlier phases on the Bank Holiday Monday.

With a choice of intermediate, open intermediate and advanced intermediate classes, the Highclere event has held its own despite being immediately preceded by Blair and being closely followed by Burghley (31 August-3 September), Blenheim (7-10 September) and the Sydney Olympics.

Amongst those taking the opportunity to bring on younger horses and get in tune for later events are top international riders: Sweden’s Anna Hilton, Mark Kyle from Ireland and William Fox-Pitt. Last year’s ‘One-Two’ in one of Highclere’s Advanced Intermediate classes – Marie Sleet with Penny Royale III and Jo Marsh-Smith with Albie O’G (respectively) – both return to the venue next weekend for a rematch; whilst the 1999 Highclere Open Intermediate winner, Daisy Dick rides the same horse The White Sergeant in the advanced intermediate this time.

Alterations to the cross-country course have been made this year as a result of an ongoing refurbishment programme and the introduction of new sponsors. New fences include a ‘kick on and cling on’ elephant trap (as described by course designers Rod and Sue Bennett) and a new log pile replacing the old parallels. The Bennetts, also designers at Wilton and Tythrop Park this year, have been building the Highclere course since 1995. Commented Sue: “Riders seem to enjoy Highclere because it is challenging but at the same time, fair and straightforward. They often say to us that it has the look of a mini-Badminton.”

Harrods’ famous window dressers will be assigned to decorate the Harrods bank complex comprising the Pyramid fence and obelisk drop. And, Phase Eight (the fashion chain offering affordable, stylish tailoring and smart occasion wear) a long-time supporter of horse trials rider, Jo Rimmer (also entered at Highclere) branches out into event sponsorship for the first time as sponsor of Highclere’s famous sphinx fence - a double of corners, with a prime position in front of the Castle.

Woodstock Furniture of Knightsbridge is to sponsor the Side Saddle classes, and Mitsubishi Motors Reading are also supporting the event as an extension of the nine year Mitsubishi Motors UK sponsorship of Badminton Horse Trials. Horse & Hound Magazine , Mark Hall Insurance Services and Horsefair Equestrian are also new sponsors for this years event.

The Horse Trials will be supported by an even bigger all-star cast of displays and competitions making up the second running of Highclere’s FESTIVAL OF THE HORSE 2000 with carriage driving (Saturday and Sunday), Affiliated Show Jumping (Sunday) and on the Bank Holiday Monday: Horse Whisperer (Gary Witheford), Showcase competitive Horse Sale, Fullers Heavy Horse Musical Drive, Dressage-to-Music by Catherston Stud, American Saddlebreds, Western Riding and Side Saddle.

The official charities for The Festival of The Horse & International Horse Trials will be The Racing Welfare Millennium Appeal and The Inspire Foundation. Highclere Castle is located just South of Newbury, off the A34 Bypass. Gates open from 9am. No advance booking required. Tickets (excl. Craft Fair); Sat £4 per adult (Children £1); Sun £5 (£1); Mon £8 (£2). Further details from: www.highclerecastle.co.uk


The Full Festival Timetable is as follows:

Start Times

Event

Location

SATURDAY 26 AUGUST

0900 – 1600

White Horse Harness Club Regional Carriage Driving Championships –

Dressage/Cones

Carriage Field & Main Arena

Craft Fair

Trade Stands arrive

SUNDAY 27 AUGUST

0930

Carriage Driving Championships - Cross Country

Cross country course

National Schools Championships – Dressage

Horse Trials Area

1000

Unaffiliated Combined Training

Horse Trials Area

1100

Affiliated Show Jumping - Charles Britton Speed Class

Main Arena

1200

Carriage Driving for the Disabled

Parkland

1200

Horse Trials – Dressage

Horse Trials Area

1230

Carriage Driving for the Disabled: Concours d’Elegance

Main Arena

1250

Western Riding Demonstration

Main Arena

1325

Affiliated Show Jumping – Horse & Hound Carnarvon Championship

Main Arena

1400

Fun Dog Show

Trade Stand Area

1530

Horse Trials – Show Jumping

Horse Trials Area

Tbc

Carriage Driving Prize Giving

Main Arena

All Day

Craft Fair & Trade Stands

MONDAY 28 AUGUST

0830

National Schools Championships – Show Jumping

Main Arena

0830

Horse Trials – Remaining Dressage

Horse Trials Area

0930

Horse Trials – Remaining Show jumping

0930

Horse Trials – Cross Country

1000

Potential Young Event Horse Class

Horse Trials Area

1100

Fullers Brewery Heavy Horse Musical Drive

Main Arena

1115

Western Riding Demonstration

Main Arena

1130

Festival of the Horse Painting Competition Prizegiving

Mitsubishi Main Arena Stand

1150

Woodstock Furniture Side Saddle – Show Jumping

Main Arena

1200

Horse Whisperer – Gary Witheford

Trade Stand Area

1250

Sara Batting Estate Agency Dressage-to-Music demonstrations

Main Arena

1300

Exemption Dog Show, followed by Fun Dog Show

Trade Stand Area

1330

American Saddlebreds Display

Main Arena

1350

Fullers Brewery Heavy Horse Musical Drive

Main Arena

1400

Western Riding Demonstration

Main Arena

1435

Woodstock Furniture Side Saddle – period costume Concours d’Elegance

Main Arena

1500

Young Event Horse Final

Main Arena

1520

Heavy Horse Horse Introduction

Main Arena

1530

British Horse Database Showcase Sport Horse Parade

Main Arena

1530

Horse Whisperer – Gary Witheford

Main Arena

1540

Sara Batting Estate Agency Dressage-to-Music demonstrations

Main Arena

1545

British Horse Database Showcase Sport Horse Sale

Horse Trials Area

Tbc

Horse Trials Prizegivings

Mitsubishi Main Arena Stand

All Day

Craft Fair & Trade Stands

Location: Just South of Newbury, off the A34 Bypass (follow the brown signs to The Castle)

Admission Prices: Saturday £4 per adult (children £1), Sunday £5 (£1), Monday £8 (£2). All prices include parking and admission [excluding Craft Fair]

Booking system: No advance bookings taken

Further details from: www.highclerecastle.co.uk or call: 01256-850272.





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Updated: October 2005.