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The Burghley Horse Trials

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THE Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials annual three-day event was once again held in the grounds of Burghley House, near Stamford, Lincolnshire.

THE Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials annual three-day event was once again held in the grounds of Burghley House, near Stamford, Lincolnshire.This Burghley event is one of the six leading events of its kind in the world. Horse trials have been held at Burghley since 1961, when the 6th Marquess of Exeter decided to arrange the vent and it proved so popular that it went from strength to strength to provide the very best of international eventing.

Now some 150,000 visitors attend the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. With 600 plus exhibitors and retailers there was some shopping to be done too. From clothing and footwear to food, personal gifts and beauty products, to name just a few of the products available from the retail exhibitors, were all very well presented and a shopaholic's paradise!

With Dressage, Cross-Country and Show Jumping and prize money of 50,000 down to 1,000 there was much interest and competition - of the highest level - as always.

The Burghley Young Event Horse final also attracts a lot of interest during the trials, as future Olympic mounts are judged from the four and five-year-old horses, as they are put through their paces. In addition to the Dressage, Cross-Country and Show Jumping, I found the Stallion Parade and Concours d'Elgance most interesting.

The work which goes into the presentation of horses and riders and all things associated, has to be seen to be believed. Also, very much praise goes to the ground crew, as they did a fantastic job with the main ring and indeed with the whole area. This was appreciated greatly by the competitors, horses and visitors alike.

Mixing and talking to the competitors was a real pleasure and with really big names such as William Fox-Pitt and Zara Phillips, to mention just two from a whole list made it a real occasion.

William Fox-Pitt was the winner this year giving an outstanding performance throughout the whole event and making this his fifth Burghley win. There are months of planning which go into this event to make it the success it is, so much praise and thanks go to all involved, including the British Red Cross who provided 200 volunteers - with two staff at each of the 32 jumps for example - to cover first aid throughout the event, if any emergencies occurred.

With different events and competitions taking place on each of the days, all visitors, I am sure, enjoyed the trials. I took some time out to visit the retail exhibitors' stands and found a lot of interest in them. Food, fashion, sculptures, drinks, leather goods, glass objects, olive oil based soaps and paintings are just some of the diverse range of goods that were available.

If you couldn't make it this time to the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials make a note for your next year's diary, September 3-6. More info, Tel: 01780 766868. Burghley House Tel: 01780 752451, www.burghley-horse.co.uk.

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