|Barbury Castle Horse Trials | The Place To Be This Weekend|
|Wonder Horse Neville Bardos|
Barbury Castle Horse Trials is about to become host to the most exciting pre-Olympic warm-up event ever seen. The Olympics being held on home turf has attracted the world’s biggest names to camp in the UK during the build up to the games. The Australians & New Zealanders were first to arrive a year ago, joined by a smattering of other nations, including America’s Tiana Coudray, who laid many a ghost to rest when coming second at Blenheim last year. She is now joined by the entire American Olympic shortlist, the latest contingent to arrive for their final selection trial at Barbury this coming weekend, including the two US wonder horses, Neville Bardos & Mystery Whisper.
Barbury has grown in stature over a very short space of time, and since the demise of Savernake Horse Trials, is my most local, and one of my favourite events in the calendar. Taking a look through the entry list for the CIC*** it’s really hard not to get excited about the Olympics – it reads like a who’s who of eventing, and pretty much anyone that is missing from this list can be found in the 3 CIC** sections, along side many of the horses that made Salperton so memorable.
Barbury have presented this year’s event as the best opportunity to see the Olympians if you haven’t got tickets for Greenwich, and I could wax lyrical about all the names you will see, but instead just take a stroll through the Entry List and see if you can name any medal contenders not going to Barbury.
On top of all this there is no less than 7 sections of the Novice class, which is often a good place to spot some nice bold youngsters if you’re horse shopping (note to self!), and there’s a fabulous class for retired racehorses too. If that wasn’t enough Barbury has now revived the Wiltshire County Show, so there is plenty to keep every member of the family happy. Even the foodies will be well rewarded with the new CGA Festival of Food.
I can’t rate this event highly enough for spectators, although don’t get fooled into thinking because of the compact landscape & vista you can just sit on the sun terrace sipping Pimms and enjoy the event, you need to walk the cross country like any other event to really get immersed in the whole experience – thankfully you just don’t need to walk anywhere near as much as you do at Badminton or Burghley. If painting your face in national colours is not you thing, Barbury has the perfect alternative – The Barbury Castle Horse Trials Guide To Painting a Flag On Your Horse – Good Luck with that! (you’ll need a grey, and I’m happy to donate mine, if you’ve got 5 hours to spare!)
If you miss this event, you’re gonna kick yourself! Clear you schedule and come to Marlborough.
I’ll have more from Barbury during the week, but for now here’s a few useful links:
A few of my previous posts about Barbury: