With just a week to go to the start of the famous Belton Horse trials in Grantham, things are hotting up both on and off the course.
Boosted by the onset of lighter evenings and the promise of warmer days, event director Stuart Buntine and his team have moved into overdrive to complete the course in time for the start of the three-day event next Friday.
This year they have had to overcome snow, wind and water, not to mention freezing temperatures to prepare the course to the exacting standards of Capt Mark Phillips, who has designed the international and advanced courses, and the FEI world governing body for the sport.
Stuart said: “Belton provides both unique opportunity and individual challenge when designing and building a cross country course.
“We are the only event in the UK to run on National Trust land and are very aware of our responsibilities to take care of all the wonderfully diverse wildlife that Belton has to offer.”
With the course in its final stages of preparation, the weather warming and the ground offering some of the best going in the country, everything is set to make that Belton the perfect weekend for visitors, whateve they are interested in.
With the competitors confirmed, Belton boasts its strongest ever line-up.
Team GB’s Zara Phillips, Nichola Wilson, William Fox-Pitt and Tina Cooke will all be attending, along with Olympians from Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Italy, France, Switzerland and the USA
Belton 2013 has something for everyone, from fabulous shopping to sumptuous tasty treats and bargains galore.
Attractions will also include displays of classic cars, carriage driving and dog agility
Friday sees late night shopping available to everyone and entry after 3.30pm is free.
Tickets are available on the gate or online at at www.granthamcup.co.uk or call 01949 829061.
* Look out for exclusive Belton shopping deals in this week’s Journal.