Press and News

Two star crown for veteran Prince

International event rider Tom Jackson from Ashford in Kent travelled to Devon at the weekend where the long trip paid off after he scored brace of wins.

Tom headed the CIC1* class with Sue Norman’s six-year-old mare Santana II jumping a double clear and finishing on the optimum time to win on their dressage score of 42.1. Millie Dumas had taken the lead after the dressage riding the nine-year-old mare Catheryn but 3.6 time faults across country dropped them down to second.

Santana II will have one more run this season in the six-year-old championships at Osberton. “She’s done very well this season, but there is no point in doing too much with her,” said Tom who also headed a novice class with the gelding PSH Romeo. “We came to Bicton’s spring event and liked it so much that we decided to come back. I’m glad we did as apart from a small blip with one of the five horses I ran, they all went very well and we came home with a huge haul of prizes, like a year’s supply of horse feed, vouchers and champagne.”

The popular veteran event horse Granntevka Prince headed off his much younger rivals to claim two star victory at Bicton Arena International at the weekend.

Janou Bleekman, 20, from Cullompton, rode Gerry and David Mills’ 16-year-old to win the prestigious class and was thrilled with the success saying she hoped the performance would be enough to earn them selection onto the Dutch Young Rider team for September’s European championships.

After a superb dressage test put them in pole position they jumped a beautiful clear showjumping and then jumped fast and accurately across country where time penalty-free rounds proved elusive for the 45 combinations who completed.

 “The time is always tight at Bicton with plenty of turns and hills. It was a great course to ride though and I tried to go as fast as I could. I was early to go and then it was a case of waiting to see if I had gone fast enough. He really deserves a win like that and I hope it is enough for us to be selected,” said Janou who has benefitted from dressage training with Anna Ross and jumping with Sir Mark Todd.

She explained: “Last year our dressage wasn’t really up to scratch so the lessons have made a huge difference. I’ve started warming him up a bit longer for the dressage as he still gets quite excited and he can be cheeky if I haven’t worked him long enough. He went in and he felt really good. He was listening to me and focused on what we were doing. It felt like a really good test.”

Having taken the lead after the dressage, Janou was aware other riders were chasing her heels, including Pippa Funnell on Billy Walk On who finished 1.1 penalties behind in second to claim the best seven-year-old prize. Pippa was also third on MGH Grafton Street with Kitty King riding the consistent Vendredi Biats into fourth.

“It was fantastic to win, especially as [his owners] Gerry and David came along to watch him. They are hugely supportive and it was lovely that they were there too. Bicton is like our second home and we are always here schooling during the winter. It’s lovely to win at our local event,” said Janou.

Coral Keen, who is based near Devises in Wiltshire, scored a brace of wins with her homebred Total Belief winning a novice section and Cascadelle the intermediate.

 “Total Belief is a lovely horse who always tries her hardest and wants to please. I’ve taken her slowly as I want to make sure all the foundations are very firmly laid but she has a great future ahead of her,” said Coral.

Cascadelle, who last year won back to back one star classes at Gatcombe and Waregem, kept a clean sheet after the dressage to take the win from dressage leader Tom Jackson on Courvoisier. He added showjumping and cross country time penalties to his leading dressage score dropping him down to tenth.

“They have done such a super job on the ground that I could take the handbrake off today,” said Coral. “Cascadelle is only a seven-year-old but she’s developing into a really good horse and is a hugely exciting prospect for the future.”

The open intermediate went the way of Blyth Tait riding Xanthus III with Phoebe Locke claiming the under 21 section on Cooley Challenger.

BE100 winners were Kirsty Johnston on Lux Zen, Emily Young-Jamieson riding Shannondale Carlina, Abbie Hughes on Gecole M and Emma Jane Matthews on Newgate Times. Jess Rimmer was the under18 BE100 winner on Irish After Shock.

Bicton Arena manager Helen West said: “It was a super event and we were pleased to see so many top names riding here. We’re also very grateful to all our sponsors who include Rathbones Investments, Equine H, Exeter Racecourse, Everys, Gain Horse Feeds, Devoucoux, Horse Heaven and Redpost Equestrian and Kastner Volvo providing the courtesy cars. They all helped ensure the riders were rewarded with some great prizes.”

Bicton Arena fund raises at Second International Horse Trials 

 

Top names are heading to Bicton Arena International Horse Trials on August 19-21 including riders who are in action at the Rio Olympics.

British team riders Kitty King and William Fox-Pitt, New Zealand’s Jock Paget, Australia’s Sam Griffiths and Ireland’s Padraig McCarthy are among the riders who will be heading to the Devon venue where organisers have pulled out all the stops to attract competitors with free stabling and bedding in the international classes and a wealth of additional prizes.

Two international classes will be staged that are sponsored by Equine H and Rathbones Investment Management and Exeter Racecourse has supported the prestigious event by sponsoring the best-placed seven-year-old horse in the two star class. Grooms, owners and riders are also set to benefit from additional prizes to ensure a memorable visit to the Westcountry and further prizes are sponsored Gain Horse Feeds, Devoucoux, Horse Heaven and Redpost Equestrian with Kastner Volvo providing the courtesy cars.

A fundraising party will also be held on the Saturday night for the Eventing Family whose supported charities include Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony.

Hannah Francis, who passed away on August 1 just 15 months after being diagnosed with cancer, set up the charity.

Organiser Helen West said: “Hannah was truly inspirational and our fundraising party will be just something small that we can do at Bicton Arena to ensure her legacy is never forgotten. Hannah rode here at our April International where she was our guinea pig dressage rider for the international classes. We were so proud of her that day and inspired by her immense courage.”

The event is Bicton Arena’s second international competition this year and spectators will not be disappointed with the caliber of competitors. They also include Mary King and her daughter Emily, Blyth Tait, Vittoria Pannizon and Andrew Nicholson.

Helen said:  “We are so grateful for the continued support of so many top riders, along with many riders local to the Westcountry. It’s a mix that attracts sponsors and spectators and we do hope everyone will make it a date and head to Bicton Arena for a day outdoors enjoying exciting competitive action.”

Entry to the competition is £10 per car. There will be tradestands and catering on site. Tickets to the fundraising party cost £10 on the door and include a hog roast, live music and a welcome drink.

 

Racecourse sponsorship at Bicton Arena

 

Exeter Racecourse has announced it is sponsoring at Bicton Arena’s international horse trials which take place in East Devon on August 19 to 21. The racecourse is supporting the prestigious CIC2* which includes a £500 prize to the highest placed seven-year-old horse competing in the class.

Exeter Racecourse hosts 17 race meetings a year and is also a thriving conference and events centre. Located beside the busy A38, novice horses on the cusp of greatness regularly come under starters orders at Exeter. It also hosts the grade 2 Haldon Gold Cup that regularly attracts superstar racehorses.

Bicton Arena is considered  the leading equestrian venue in the West Country attracting competitors from all over the UK. It is set in majestic grade one listed parkland and the team is led by professional event rider Helen West.

The racecourse’s general manager Daniel Thompson said: “We are delighted to be supporting such a fantastic venue which plays host to an important competition for the West Country, attracting top level riders from far and wide. We are very much looking forward to attending.”

Organiser Helen West added: “We hope this will be a long and fruitful association with our local racecourse. We all love racing here and Exeter is a super racetrack. We’re looking forward to welcoming Dan and his guests during the horse trials.”

Organisers have added several incentives to encourage riders to compete at the Devon venue. They include free stabling with two free bales of Zebra horse bedding for the international classes which are sponsored by Equine H and Rathbones Investment Management.

Cheffings Equine will provide champagne to the winning owners in each section and in the international classes further prizes are sponsored Gain Horse Feeds, Devoucoux, Horse Heaven and Redpost Equestrian.

Free stabling at Bicton Arena International and a fund raising hog roast

 

Bicton Arena is offering free stabling to all competitors in the CIC* and CIC** classes at its International Horse trials which take place on August 19 -21. Each competitor will also be given two free bales of Zebra bedding per stable. Stabling for all other horses will cost just £20 per night.

 

Organiser Helen West, who has represented Great Britain at the Junior and Young Rider European Championships, winning team Gold at Waregem, Belgium in 2001, said she hoped that by offering free stabling, more competitors will be encouraged to head to Devon to compete.

“Having ridden at the higher levels, I understand how the costs can mount up, and when you factor in the entry fee with stabling and diesel it can be an expensive weekend. This is just a small way that Bicton Arena can help to reduce the cost and we hope that people take advantage of it.”

 

A hog roast and music on Saturday, August 20 will be held in aid of The Eventing Family. There will be a welcome drinks reception for all, and those wishing to stay on for the Hog Roast and music can buy tickets costing £10 per person.

 

Enjoy the ride across country at Bicton Arena

 

Riders competing at grass roots and horses starting out on their eventing careers take centre stage at Bicton Arena this weekend where nearly 600 horses will contest classes ranging from BE80(T) to open novice.

Organiser and course designer Helen West has created flowing cross courses across the East Devon parkland where less-experienced riders can expect to have the option of longer routes to help ensure a confidence-giving round, while experienced combinations will face more challenging questions. Helen said: “I’ve been meticulous about the courses we’ve designed here as I want both horses and riders coming away having had a positive experience which leaves them full of confidence for their next competition. Everything has been taken into account, from the lie of the land, to the position of individual fences, to where trees are planted to help riders take the correct approach and we hope that everyone who competes has an enjoyable experience.”

Tiverton based international event rider Tim Cheffings, who will ride five horses over the course of the weekend, said: “I always try to go to Bicton Arena as it is such a fabulous local venue and the events are so well organized. It is great for young horses and the going is always good.

“They are good educational tracks but they can also be challenging at the same time. If you are less experienced you can take the longer routes and for the more experienced horse there are serious questions. Helen West’s own experience has made a huge difference to the competitions run at Bicton and the atmosphere is always great.”

Lizzie Luxton from Lifton is riding three horses on Sunday. She said: “I am looking forward to it. It’s nice good local event and has improved so much in the last three years. They are good inviting courses that ask enough without being scary.”

Special prizes will be awarded at the competition sponsored by West of England Stabling and Leonard Coombe Master Saddlers and Country Life including rosettes for each double clear in BE80 to BE100 classes and prizes for the best turned out best score from a dressage competitor and best dressage score in the BE90 classes, The Leacourt Buster Trophy will be awarded by John Bevan and Pete Appleford to the highest placed local rider in the novice sections.

The competition takes place on Saturday and Sunday with cross country action commencing at 8.30am. Entry is £10 per car.

Kitajima triumphs at Bicton Arena

There was a true international flavour to Bicton Arena’s International Horse Trials held at the weekend where Japan’s Ryuzo Kitajima headed the Rathbone Investment Management’s CIC2* class riding the ten-year-old Poachers Hope.

 

It was the combination’s first outing of the year and a solid dressage test with a score of 46.9 put them fourth of the 40 starters going into the cross country phase. A clear showjumping and a fast accurate round across country, with just  8.4 time penalties, put the pair in pole position.

Cullompton’s Janou Bleekman’s performed a super dressage test on the veteran Granntevka Prince to head the field along with Sarah Parks whose couple of stops across country dropped her down the leader board. Janou rolled a pole showjumping and added time penalties cross country to finish fifth. Taking second was Dickon Reader on Bravanjo, in third was Caroline Harris on Billy Bumble, and David Doel took fourth riding Eisfee.

Italy’s Vittoria Panizzon headed the advanced intermediate riding the 13-year-old mare Borough Pennyz who won the CIC3* at last year’s Wellington International. Two points away was Kristina Cook on Quarrycrest Echo while in third was Darius IV and Blyth Tait.

Hector Payne, William Fox-Pitt’s stable jockey, had a handful of rides with Top Biats jumping a double clear to win the open intermediate.

William was also in action on several horses including Chilli Morning who was having his first run in the open intermediate since winning last year’s Badminton Horse Trials.

 “He show jumped a super clear, over quite a decent track, and on the cross country he felt lovely. He went very nicely indeed, felt very relaxed and didn’t pull at all. He was very happy to be out and enjoyed the decent ground and lovely intermediate track,” said William on his website.

 He added:

“Helen West and her team have really done a superb job to produce a good flowing track. The intermediate course was spot on for this time of year and she had really ironed out some of the tougher terrain to make the course flow well.”

Virage Des Falaises, was one of two wins for Kitty King winning a novice section with 7.6 time penalties added to their dressage score of 26.

“He made one mistake in his counter canter when he got a little excited as he thought he should be doing a flying change! He has been learning them at home so I was pleased he was thinking about them, but it was a shame it was in his test. He scored a very competitive 26,” said Kitty.

Vendredi Biats also headed an intermediate section. Kitty said:

“He stormed round the cross country in pretty wet and muddy conditions. He made the course and the testing conditions feel very easy and gave me a great ride. We picked up a handful of time faults to win the section by nine marks.”

Mary King denied Kitty a third win with King Robert II finishing less than a point in front of Kitty’s Virage Des Faliases in another novice section. Julia Norman riding the seven-year-old Joblesse Can Bareelhof won the remaining section.

Crewkerne’s Thomas Hawke took the open novice riding Mr Cruise Control and was second in the open novice under 18 class on Irish Jester to Talullah Bartlett riding Tiggity Boo.

BE100 sections went to Lauren Pinnell and Tihui Sept, Dani Evans and Fun Time Cilla, Millie Dumas riding Electric Lux and Tom Mcewen on The Magician.

The BE90 sections were headed by Maxime Jambleu on Cante Jondo Rocio, Pippa Tucker on Rambo II, Suzie McGeorge on Langarth Gwendolen and India John riding Balllyhooly,

Nearly 800 riders contested the three days with the plaudits coming thick and fast on Social Media following the event.

Speaking after the event, Organiser Helen West said 

“It was a very good event and we’re delighted. The rain on Friday tested the team to the max, but everyone stepped up to the mark and we produced a great day of competition. The ground was put right on Friday evening and by Saturday morning the going was perfect. We benefitted from lovely weather on Saturday and Sunday which brought out plenty of spectators to enjoy the competition. This year I’ve really worked on designing courses that flow and are encouraging while asking questions at the appropriate levels. The comments we had following the event were superb, and gave us a lot of encouragement that we are putting on events that competitors and spectators want. My next aim will be to secure an advanced and CIC*** here at Bicton Arena.”

 

 

 

 

Riders head west to Bicton International

The 2015 Mitsbubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials winner Chilli Morning heads a stellar cast for Bicton Arena International Horse Trials which takes place next weekend (April 22-24). William Fox-Pitt, who has returned to top flight competition after serious injury last autumn, will be on board Christopher Stone’s 16-year-old stallion among several other rides.

Staged in East Devon on the rolling parkland that forms part of Clinton Estates, the event has attracted a wealth of other top international riders including Harry Meade, Kristina Cook, Mary King MBE and Kitty King. Also riding are Australia’s Sam Griffiths who was the victor at the 2014 Mitsubishi Badminton Horse Trials; and the veterans Blyth Tait and his fellow countryman Sir Mark Todd, among the most celebrated New Zealand sportsmen who has won two Olympic medals and was rewarded with a Knighthood in 2013.

Hundreds of entries have been received for the competition that will see UK based International riders tackle cross country courses designed Bicton Arena manager Helen West.

Other younger riders in action include David Doel, Tom McEwan, Dani Evans, Janou Bleekman and Emily King who will ride Brookleigh, fourth at Pau CIC4* in October, in the advanced intermediate class.

The event’s organiser Helen West said: “We are absolutely delighted with the number and quality of entries and it’s a fantastic opportunity for spectators to come along and watch the best in action. The CIC, or international class, has given riders a valuable opportunity to move up to the next level of competition if they gain a qualifying result.”

The event has gained the support of several notable sponsors including TopSpec, Everys, Rathbones and Graham Heath Equestrian Structures and is supported this year by Volvo who will provide the courtesy cars.

Helen said: “We’re a shop window for companies as we have a captive audience of riders and all their associates and we are thrilled with the level of support. These are exciting times for the arena and we very much hope people will come along and watch some top riders in action.”
Entry is free on Friday and £10 per Car on Saturday and Sunday. For more information visit www.bictonarena.co.uk.

 

Media, Press & Photography Accreditation

We look forward to welcoming the media to the Bicton Arena International Horse Trials.

We have revisited Terms and Conditions for accreditation. This is especially relevant to photographers, whose numbers have started to considerably increase.

Please note that Press Accreditation will close 10 days prior to the first day of a horse trials and all applications should be made to lucyjohnsonpr@gmail.com by this date.

Please read Terms and Conditions below before application.

Successful applicants will be welcome at The Bicton Arena International Horse Trials, where our team will do all we can to assist your professional coverage.

Complimentary high res images for publication of all phases of the competition and presentations will be available on request.

Please contact Lucy Johnson for further details:

Email: lucyjohnsonpr@gmail.com Tel: + 44 (0) 7866 497976

 

 

BICTON ARENA PHOTOGRAPHER/FILM ACCREDITATION

1. Only photographers/film makers who have a commission from a bona fide publication & client (print &/or digital) will be considered for accreditation. The publication, client, commissioning editor, email address and phone number must be included on your application and they may be contacted by Bicton. Samples of published work may be requested. All applications must be submitted by email to lucyjohnsonpr@gmail.com no later 10 days prior to the first day of any horse trials.

2. Only one photographer will be accredited per publication/company per day.

3. All photographers/film maker must carry full Public Liability and Third Party Liability insurance and by accepting these conditions indemnify the owners and managers of the Clinton Devon Estate/Bicton Arena and the Horse Trials against all costs claims and other expenses that they may incur from any third party. Evidence of such insurance must be available and produced on request during the Event.

4. Only the officially appointed event photographers may sell images/film of the competitors or the competition to competitors, owners &/or the public.

5. Accreditations will only be given for up to a maximum of 20 images for the promotion of the horse trials. Any individual and or company requiring the use of more than 20 images should clearly document the justification within their application.

6. For the avoidance of any doubt Bicton Arena define anyone requiring to publish more than 20 images either in print and or socially/web from any of our horse trials as “commercial use” and accreditation should be applied for.

7. Accreditation numbers are limited and all applications will be decided by the Event Director or his nominee(s). Previous accreditation is no guarantee of a repeat in the future.

8. Due to the number of applications, we reserve the right not to give a detailed justification as to why accreditation has not been granted.

9. For cross country photographers’ official badges will only be issued to photographers accredited for that day who actually attend the official briefing.

10. For show jumping access to the arena will be strictly limited.

11. Complimentary high res images for publication of all phases of the competition and presentations will be available on request.

12. All accredited media must comply with the requests and instructions of the event organisers and stewards.

13. Submission for accreditation confirms acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.

14. Any photographer in breach of these conditions will have his accreditation cancelled, be asked to leave the grounds and will not be accredited in future.

All applications and questions to be submitted to lucyjohnsonpr@gmail.com

Leading investment business sponsors at Bicton Arena

 

One of the UK's leading providers of investment management services for individuals, charities and professional advisers has announced a new sponsorship agreement with Bicton Arena.

Rathbones Investment Management will sponsor the prestigious two star international classes at Bicton Arena’s April and August horse trials.
Both events attract world-class competitors, many of whom ride their top horses at the Devon venue.

They include last year’s April CIC2* winner Ella Hitchman who followed up that success with team gold at the Young Rider European Championships riding Rocky Rockstar.

Regional director Sarah Tobey said: “Rathbones are delighted to be continuing their support of Bicton Arena, which goes from strength to strength under Helen West’s stewardship, by sponsoring the international CIC two star classes in 2016. “I have known Helen for a while and her enthusiasm, together with that of her team, has helped to put Bicton Arena firmly on the international horse trials map, attracting a number of top competitors.

“Helen and her team’s commitment to the future success of Bicton is all too evident, and we are delighted to continue our support during these exciting times.”

Helen West took over the reins as arena manager in 2013. Last year she introduced CIC international classes to the April and August event and added an additional horse trials in July.

Helen said: “We’re absolutely committed to creating a centre of excellence here in East Devon so that we can host events that attract world class competitors while at the same time carrying a comprehensive range of classes for our grassroots riders. Bicton Arena offers the most magnificent stage and we are thrilled that Rathbones are committed to supporting us in 2016.”

 

 

 

Bicton Arena's Helen West is awarded organiser of the year

 

Bicton Arena has scooped two prestigious awards at this year’s Event Riders Association’s annual awards ceremony with manager Helen West presented with the prestigious Organiser of the Year award for the second year in succession and the venue winning the Social Media award. 

In April Bicton Arena staged Devon’s first international horse trials with CIC one and two star classes included in the schedule. It proved a popular addition to the eventing calendar with many well known riders competing including several who rode at the European Championships.

Helen said: “The feedback we received following the event was very positive and it was wonderful to see so many well known riders competing here.”

Helen is a rider herself and has represented Great Britain at Junior and Young Rider level. This year, riding Eebay, she won the high jump jumping 6ft1ins at Blenheim International Horse Trials. The combination were also placed second at Ballindenisk CCI* in August. Using her experience she has been able to develop events that are in line with the demands of today’s competitive rider.

She explained: “The two international classes ran over courses which were separate from the novice and intermediate tracks, and often at competitions this is not the case, with the course virtually the same. I think the riders really appreciated this. The tracks were also educational and a lot of riders used Bicton as a stepping stone to Houghton International.

“We were also praised for the dressage arenas and for staging the showjumping in our main arena which gave horses the chance to compete in that sort of atmosphere.”

Bicton Arena is also very active on social media, and has developed a large following. Helen said: “This is very much down to our arena assistant Beccy Barrett who is brilliant on social media. It’s a very effective way of keeping competitors informed and it's fantastic that our efforts have been recognised.”

There was more local success at the awards with Exeter’s Miranda Collett awarded best event secretary of the year for her work at Bicton and Keith Watkins, who volunteers at both Bicton and Pontispool Equine Sports Centre awarded Volunteer of the Year.

Helen said: “It was a super evening and lovely that Bicton Arena was recognised in so many different ways. But Bicton Arena’s success is very much down to the fantastic team we have who all work so hard to put the arena and Devon on the map. We are constantly evolving, and we constantly listen to what competitors want and that, we hope, encourages more people to head west to Devon.

 

 

 

 

 

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE BICTON ARENA PENCILLED IN YOUR DIARY FOR 2016


  • April International Horse Trials 22nd - 24th
  • July BE Grassroots Horse Trials 9th - 10th
  • August International Horse Trials 19th - 21st 


 

Congratulations to all the winners South West Rankings- results and scores

The 2015 season saw the first ever running of the British Eventing South West Rankings.

Thanks to some generous sponsors the Awards and Prizes for the Rankings were presented at the Aldon International Horse Trials on Sunday October 25th.

The Rankings calendar covered 24 Horse Trials held throughout the South West Region between March and October and featured entries from several hundred riders. There were three separate Ranking classes at BE100, BE90 and BE80(T) levels with Ranking points awarded to horse and rider combinations on a sliding scale with the final results as follows.

BE 100


1st Katie Hancock on Kilcandra Rambo Ray- British Eventing Award

2nd Holly Wright on Minacks Maid - Dianese Body Protector

3rd Jessica Acheson on Furthest Point - Joules Tweed Coat

4th Lola Watt on Denys de la Mer - Style International Castle Rug


Under 21
Lola Watt on Denys de la Mer - John Colson Training Bursary

Senior Jo Boggon on Deelside Red Adair - John Colson Training Bursary

BE 90


1st Lucy S Jones on Becketts Word - British Eventing Award

= 2nd Suzie McGeorge on Horgans Mercury -Dianese Body Protector

= 2nd Harriet Foale on Magical Legend - Dianese Body Protector

4th Sadie Jones on Bertie Bluck - Style International Castle Rug


Under 21
Sadie Jones on Bertie Buck - John Colson training Bursary

Senior Lucy S Jones on Becketts Word - John Colson Training Bursary

BE 80

1st Stacie Littlejohns on Churchpar Chaos - British Eventing Award

2nd Jessica Rutter on MGH Coco- Dianese Body Protector

3rd Bella Balian on Melino - Joules Tweed Coat

4th Leanne Gibbs on Dunbeggon Coevers Diamond - Style International Castle Rug


Under 21
Jessica Rutter on MGH Coco - John Colson Training Bursary

Senior Celia Bellamy on Toptime Taliesin - John Colson Training Bursary

What a fantastic year!

 

Bicton Arena has literally been bursting at the seams this year with a comprehensive schedule that has been jam-packed with competitions that encompassed all the disciplines. Our vision for Bicton Arena has been to put it on the map as a leading competition and training venue in the south-west, locally, regionally and internationally and judging by the caliber of competitors paying a visit we think we’re getting there!

There are so many people to thank, from our sponsors, to our volunteers, to owners and to riders.  We are also incredibly lucky that we have such a super team at Bicton Arena who ensure that everything runs smoothly so that we have happy competitors who feel that we will always listen and that we will always strive to continually improve.

 

The year we went international – twice

We staged our first international horse trials of the season in April, and then had another one in August, when CIC one star and two star classes took pace. Title sponsor for both events was Empire Horseboxes along with Wray & Co Jewellers who sponsored the 1*. Visitors to Bicton Arena weren’t disappointed with the roll call of big names who galloped across the parkland, including some who rode their Badminton-bound horses at the April event

Future plans are to re-introduce an advanced track and to have a CCI*** here.

Six-day showjumping spectacular

We held a six-day showjumping extravaganza, incorporating an Area Trial, Foxhunter and Newcomer second round classes, which were qualifiers for the Horse of the Year Show, Talent Seekers and seven and six-year-old trials. We also staged the South Wests first Pony Premier Show.

We were delighted that Robert Whitaker was among those competitors paying their first visit to Bicton and chuffed to bits when he said he liked to come back again as the selection of classes mean he can bring a mix of horses.

It’s the first step of establishing international showjumping competitions at Bicton Arena and in the future we’d like to host CSI** shows.

The Eventing Family

A fleeting idea to hold a fundraising party for friends and their families who have faced challenging times this year turned into an overwhelming success and more than £30,000 was raised for the four charities Motor Neurone Disease Association, Cancer Research UK, Teenage Cancer Trust and Spinal Research.

The party was staged in a marquee on August 22, during our international horse trials, and it proved a sell out. Online and on-the-night auctions were also held as well as a sale of ‘general dogs bodies.” Music was provided by Joey The Lips.

Petplan Dressage

In September we staged our first Petplan Area Dressage Festival. To qualify, horse and ride combinations must post a score of 62% or above at three affiliated shows at prelim, novice and elementary level, and 60% at medium to inter I. The arena was bustling and we’re delighted it was such a success.

Newton Abbot Racecourse Charity Challenge

The event riders were victorious at our annual charity challenge for the Injured Jockeys Fund, kindly sponsored by Newton Abbot Racecourse, with Tamsyn Hutchins, Lizzie Luxton, Janou Bleekman and Mel Hennah the winners. Teams of jockeys, showjumpers and event riders went head to head in the main arena, much to the delight of the audience.

 

Unaffiliated winter dressage series

Don’t forget to enter our unaffiliated dressage competitions that take place on Sunday, October 25; Sunday, November 22 and Saturday, December 12.

Entries close the Tuesday before each competition and the competitions includethe Cricklands Winter League and Championship of Great Britain Qualifiers. 
All scores over 60% in the preliminary and novice classes will also qualify you for our Championship show on Sunday 6th March 2016.

For further details and to enter, head to our events calendar.

 

Arena Eventing

Keep an eye on our calendar of events, as we’ll be adding an Arena Eventing competition soon. This will take place in January and will give competitors the chance to ride over cross country fences on the all-weather surface. Classes will start at 70-80cms.

Register for an Eventing Masterclass with Lucy Wiegersma

To register your interest for a Cross Country or Show Jumping Clinic please email your name, address and telephone number with the subject title ‘Eventing’ and chosen discipline to masterclass@mercedes-benzsouthwest.co.uk or visit  https://forms.mercedes-benzsouthwest.co.uk/eventing/

Places are limited so registration is essential as entry will be decided by ballot.

*Terms & Conditions Apply.

 

 

Round up from Bicton International

Devon’s Lucy Wiegersma had the perfect warm up to Land Rover Burghley with a win in the Empire Horse Boxes CIC2* at Bicton Arena International.

Riding Serita and Christopher Perkins and Hugh Lloyd’s ten-year-old Mr Chunky, Lucy maintained her position at the head of the field after the dressage phase with a double clear.

Torrential rain on Sunday led to several withdrawals but Lucy, who is famed for her bold cross country riding, was un-phased by the elements saying: “The going was absolutely perfect with just a few slippy places on the corners, but if you rode sensibly it was fine.”

Bred by Sue Trump from Exeter, Mr Chunky was bought by Lucy as a four-year-old and she quickly saw his potential, despite his ungainly appearance at the time. “He had a big head as he hadn’t quite grown into himself. I had just starting seeing Padraig at the time and when I pulled out this hairy horse and said this is my next superstar, he just looked as if was going barmy!”

Lucy now heads to Burghley on the son of Jumbo after the much needed confidence boast having returned to riding following the birth of her son Tomas in April. “I knew I hadn’t lost my nerve, but I felt I’d lost my competitive edge and lacked a bit of self-belief. It was just the tonic I needed,” she said.

It was a good day for Warren Farm with Lucy’s fiancé Padraig McCarthy heading the Winning Post Consultancy Novice on Hoddunit. “Padraig has really clicked with him and rejuvenated his career. He felt class across country. It’s great to see Padraig doing so well in only his second season eventing and lovely that he will be representing Ireland at Blair riding Simon Porloe,” said Lucy.

Dani Evans, who makes her senior debut for Great Britain at the Longines FEI European Eventing Championships at Blair Castle next month, headed Wray & Co Jewellers CIC* riding the seven-year-old mare Marstonpark Lupina (pictured) finishing on her dressage score of 39.70.

Coral Keen’s Zoe was the runaway winner of the Intermediate Novice with an impressive dressage score of 23.20. The strapping 11-year-old is being campaigned by Wiltshire-based Tom Grant with a view to being sold.

Australian Sam Griffiths’ seasoned campaigner headed the Francis Clark Chartered Accountants Open Intermediate after the dressage, but a pole showjumping proved costly and with four cross country time penalties, the combination dropped to fourth with Louisa Harwood riding Jenga II winning the section. Louise also headed the Rathbones Intermediate section riding Balladeer Miller Man finishing on her dressage score of 35.9.

Organiser Helen West said: “It was such a shame that we had the amount of rain we did, but I was relieved that we were able to continue running and the sun did make an appearance later in the day!

“We had a lot of great feedback about the cross country courses. I had tried to incorporate some interesting challenges, making the best use of the terrain we have at Bicton.”

The arena will again host two international classes next year with a CIC2* running dates provisionally are April 22 – 24, and an CIC* and CIC2* on August 19 – 21.

Click here for full results

A world-class field will be contesting the Empire Coachbuilders Bicton Arena International Horse Trials, which run on August 22 and 23.

 

They include four riders in the FEI top 20 rider rankings – William Fox-Pitt, Sam Griffiths, Jonathan Paget and Paul Tapner - as well as a number of other well-known eventing stars.

World number two William Fox-Pitt will ride nine horses including his international four-star horse Cool Mountain in the open intermediate.

Australian Sam Griffiths rides include the hugely popular Happy Times who finished third at last year’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials and represented his country at London 2012.

Ludwig Svennerstal, who represented Sweden at the CICO 3* Nations Cup in Aachen, Germany recently, is another international rider who will be in action alongside Devon star Lucy Weigersma who returned to competitive action last month following the birth of her son Tomas and will ride Mr Chunky in the CIC2*.

A world-class field will be contesting the Empire Coachbuilders Bicton Arena International Horse Trials, which run on August 22 and 23.

They include four riders in the FEI top 20 rider rankings – William Fox-Pitt, Sam Griffiths, Jonathan Paget and Paul Tapner - as well as a number of other well-known eventing stars.

World number two William Fox-Pitt will ride nine horses including his international four-star horse Cool Mountain in the open intermediate.

Australian Sam Griffiths rides include the hugely popular Happy Times who finished third at last year’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials and represented his country at London 2012.

Ludwig Svennerstal, who represented Sweden at the CICO 3* Nations Cup in Aachen, Germany recently, is another international rider who will be in action alongside Devon star Lucy Weigersma who returned to competitive action last month following the birth of her son Tomas and will ride Mr Chunky in the CIC2*.

Lucy said: “It will be a prep run before Burghley in September. I’ve been getting back into the swing of things post baby and it will be great for him to do his dressage test in the main arena. I wasn’t planning on running across country, but after our blip at Gatcombe, where we had a run out, I’ll give him a spin and test our new brakes!”

Westcountry-born Flora Harris, who has been selected to represent Great Britain on Bayano at the European Eventing Championships at Blair Castle in September, will be riding her 15.3hh gelding Billy Bandit in the CIC2*.

The event sponsors include Empire Coach Builders, Rathbones, a leading provided of investment management services, accountants Francis Clark, Mercedes Benz South West, Everys Solicitors, Harrison Lavers & Potburys Estate Agents, Winning Post Consultancy, Wray & Co Jewellers, Jon Bevan and Pete Appleford and equestrian retail outlets Wyvern Equestrian and Wychanger Barton.

Owners and grooms will also be recognized with prizes in kind donated by Bicton, Redpost Equestrian near Totnes best turned out in the two star competition.

Organiser Helen West said: “We’re delighted with the entries and hope people take the opportunity to come along and enjoy watching top riders in action. We’d also like to thank all our sponsors who so generously support the event as well as the volunteers, without whom it wouldn’t be possible to run at all.”

Entry £10 per Car Saturday and Sunday. For more information visit www.bictonarena.co.uk.

 

 

Eventing Family stick together for charity at Bicton

 

The 'Eventing Family' fundraising team are running a charity evening this Saturday (22 August 2015) at Bicton International Horse Trials to raise vital funds for Spinal Research UK, Cancer Research UK, the Teenage Cancer Trust and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

This promises to be a night to remember, with a live band, food, bar and impressive auction items. 

So far the Eventing Family's efforts have raised over £10,000 - please browse the official Eventing Family fundraising page which is now open and ready to take your generous bids!

The auction lots include something for everyone, from a British Eventing Lifetime Membership to champagne, a morning on the gallops with Sam Twiston-Davies and a day's labour from Sir Mark Todd! 

The lots close on Sunday 23 August, between 6pm and 9pm. The lots marked "Live Auction" will be sold in the live auction at the fund-raising evening on 22 August.

Information about placing a commission bid is given in the lot details - just click on the lot to see this information.
 

International stars in action at Bicton

 

A world-class field will be contesting Empire Coachbuilders Bicton Arena International Horse Trials, which run on August 22, and 23.

They include four riders in the FEI top 20 rider rankings – William Fox-Pitt, Sam Griffiths, Jonathan Paget and Paul Tapner - as well as a number of other well-known eventing stars.

World number two William Fox-Pitt will ride nine horses including his international four-star horse Cool Mountain in the open intermediate.

Australian Sam Griffiths rides include the hugely popular Happy Times who finished third at last year’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials and represented his country at London 2012.

Ludwig Svennerstal, who represented Sweden at the CICO 3* Nations Cup in Aachen, Germany recently, is another international rider who will be in action alongside Devon star Lucy Weigersma who returned to competitive action last month following the birth of her son Tomas and will ride Mr Chunky in the CIC2*.

Lucy said: “It will be a prep run before Burghley in September. I’ve been getting back into the swing of things post baby and it will be great for him to do his dressage test in the main arena. I wasn’t planning on running across country, but after our blip at Gatcombe, where we had a run out, I’ll give him a spin and test our new brakes!”

Westcountry-born Flora Harris, who has been selected to represent Great Britain on Bayano at the European Eventing Championships at Blair Castle in September, will be riding her 15.3hh gelding Billy Bandit in the CIC2*.

The event sponsors include Empire Coach Builders, Rathbones, a leading provided of investment management services, accountants Francis Clark, Mercedes Benz South West, Everys Solicitors, Harrison Lavers & Potburys Estate Agents, Winning Post Consultancy, Wray & Co Jewellers, Jon Bevan and Pete Appleford and equestrian retail outlets Wyvern Equestrian and Wychanger Barton.

Owners and grooms will also be recognized with prizes in kind donated by Bicton, Redpost Equestrian near Totnes, which has donated a watch for the best turned out in the two star competition and Marlborough Events which will be giving champagne to the winning riders of the two star, advanced and intermediate classes.

Organiser Helen West said: “We’re delighted with the entries and hope people take the opportunity to come along and enjoy watching top riders in action. We’d also like to thank all our sponsors who so generously support the event as well as the volunteers, without whom it wouldn’t be possible to run at all.”

Entry is free on Friday and £10 per Carmon Saturday and Sunday. For more information visit www.bictonarena.co.uk.

 

 

 Press Coverage from the Mid Week Hearld

Organiser Helen West, who also manages the arena, had added an international class to Bicton’s schedule to provide West Country riders with the opportunity to ride at that level.

She also wanted to make it a spectacle for visitors and used the main showjumping arena, which has its own natural amphitheatre, to position several new cross-country fences.

She explained: “I wanted to create something really exciting for spectators and by making the main arena one of the focal points it has really worked,” said West.

“I am thrilled with the crowd which is way beyond what we had hoped for and it’s fantastic for the county of Devon too as it’s the first time an international competition has been staged and we’ve proved we have the capability of doing it.

“Entries were full across all three days which is testament to the reputation Bicton is rapidly gaining as a premier competition venue and riders have been really positive.

“Being a rider myself, we’ve been able to pay attention to the extra details which have helped turn a good competition into an excellent one.”

Nineteen-year-old Ella Hitchman, from Cheltenham, was crowned the inaugural winner of the Empire Coachbuilders-sponsored international class riding Rocky Rockstar.

Ella added just 3.3 time penalties to her dressage score of 44.4 to finish ahead of Sarah Holmes, from the Isle of White, on Lowhill Clover in second and Surrey’s Laura Normand riding Vardigo in third.

Ella said: “The course rode really well. I had some worries because as soon as you got to fence seven, until fence 15, there was no let up and it did need attacking. You had to kick all the way. But I have so much trust in my horse and he was fantastic.”

Cullompton-based former international event rider Clarissa Bleekman, whose daughter Janou finished seventh riding Gerry Mills’ Granntevka Prince, said: “It’s been a super event and I’ve heard nothing but praise for it. It’s really putting Devon on the map and everything has been perfect.”

The event was staged with the support of British Eventing Volunteers who carry out a variety of roles free of charge, from collecting scores to fence judging.

With her sights set on adding advanced classes and going up another rung and staging a three star competition, West isn’t resting on her laurels.

“I have huge ambitions for this place. We’ve proved this weekend we can do it and I would love now to get a three star competition,” she said.

Press Coverage from our first International Horse Trials.

 

http://www.exeterexpressandecho.co.uk/Equestrianism-Devon-s-international-horse-trials/story-26410739-detail/story.html

There will be a true global flavour to Bicton Arena’s first ever International Horse Trials, which take place from April 24 to 26, and are sponsored by Empire Coach Builders.

Staged in East Devon on the rolling parkland that forms part of Clinton Estates, the event has attracted a wealth of top international riders including Australia’s Sam Griffiths who was the victor at last year’s Mitsubishi Badminton Horse Trials; the veterans Sir Mark Todd, among the most celebrated New Zealand sportsmen who has won two Olympic medals and was rewarded with a Knighthood in 2013; and Mary King, MBE, who has represented Great Britain in six Olympic Games.

Hundreds of entries have been received for the competition that will see UK based International riders tackle cross country courses designed by Eric Winter and Bicton Arena manager Helen West.

Other riders in action include Sweden’s rising star Ludwig Svennerstal and Italian rider Vittoria Pannizon who both represented their countries at London 2012, also competing.

British-born Lucinda Fredericks famously won Burghley, Badminton and Kentucky four star events on the tiny mare Headley Britannia and her daughter Little Britannia will contest an intermediate class. Lucinda, who now rides for Australia and won team silver at the Beijing Olympics, also rides the nine-year-old mare Bridgehousestud River Wild in the CIC**.

David Doel, 22 has represented Great Britain on junior and young rider teams, and has started the season in good form, winning his first CIC2* of the season at Barroca D’Alva in Portugal. He’s on Earl Galante in the international class.

Cornwall’s contingent include Tamsyn Hutchins, Clare Bradshaw, Sally Gentle and Holly Wright while from Devon, Althea and Janou Bleekman, Tim Cheffings and Emily King will be in acton.

The event’s organiser Helen West said: “We are absolutely delighted with the number and quality of entries and it’s a fantastic opportunity for spectators to come along and watch the best in action. The CIC, or international class, has given riders a valuable opportunity to move up to the next level of competition if they gain a qualifying result.”

The event has gained the support of several notable sponsors including Empire Coach Builders, Rathbones, a leading provided of investment management services, accountants Francis Clark, Mercedes Benz South West, Everys Solicitors, Harrison Lavers & Potburys Estate Agents, Mole Valley Farmers, Winning Post Consultancy, Wray & Co Jewellers, Acanthus Press, Jon Bevan and Pete Appleford and equestrian retail outlets Wyvern Equestrian, Wychanger Barton and Cheffings Equine.

Owners and grooms will also be recognized with prizes in kind donated by Bicton, Redpost Equestrian near Totnes, which has donated a watch for the best turned out in the two star competition and Marlborough Events which will be giving champagne to the winning riders of the two star, advanced and intermediate classes.

Helen said: “We’re a shop window for companies as we have a captive audience of riders and all their associates and we are thrilled with the level of support. These are exciting times for the arena and we very much hope people will come along and watch some top riders in action.”

Entry is free on Friday and £10 per Car on Saturday and Sunday. For more information visit www.bictonarena.co.uk.

 

Bicton Arena Press Release:

Preparations are well underway here at Bicton Arena for our first International Horse Trials next month. The Rathbones Main Arena (see below) is looking in tip top condition and will provide a unique opportunity for CIC** combinations to gain experience competing in such an atmospheric arena.

The Main Parkland has not been used since last year and after extensive ground preparation is set to provide excellent going underfoot. 

Stabling is being offered at a very competitive price of just £50 for the duration of the event.

Bicton Arena is excited to announce that Marlborough Events will be at attendance at their events throughout 2015. Most famously known for running ‘The Outside Chance Bar’ at Badminton Horse Trials and Cheltenham Racecourse, they will now be open throughout the Bicton Arena International Horse Trials. With the best views of the main arena and cross-country course and with both an outdoor and indoor bar, whatever the weather, ‘The Tackroom’ will be the place to go for a relaxing drink.

The Tackroom will be open from 8.30am every day until late. Whether you are looking for a magnum of Pol Roger, a refreshing pint of Otter Ale, a jug of Pimms or a warming cup of tea, The Tackroom will be offering a full bar throughout the day. Saturday night will be party night. All riders, owners and grooms will be invited for a free pint and Hog Roast. Friends and connections are also welcome to attend, and a fun night is guaranteed to be had by all.

Extra Prizes:

Marlborough Events are kindly giving a bottle of Champagne to the winning riders of the following sections:

-          CIC**

-          AI

-          OI

-          Int

Bicton Arena is giving prizes to the winning owners and grooms in ALL sections from BE80 – CIC**

 

New title sponsor for Bicton’s horse trials

Bicton Arena has announced that Empire Coachbuilders, a firm of horsebox manufacturers based in Worcestershire, are the new title sponsors of its two international horse trials next year.

The Devon venue will stage two CIC, or international, competitions in 2015, the first in April and the second in August with another affiliated event taking place in July. The new sponsorship deal means there is a substantial prize fund for the CIC two star classes.

Arena manager Helen West said: “This is wonderful news as we are now able to offer prize money that is very much worth winning and we hope it will encourage people to come to Devon to compete.

“We are absolutely delighted that such a high profile company is our new title sponsor. We are very much looking forward to working with the team at Empire Coachbuilders.”

Empire Coachbuilders are renowned among the equestrian population with several high profile riders choosing their vehicles including Australian Olympic team members Paul Tapner and Sam Griffiths and British dressage rider Michael Eilberg.

Sales director James Trevatt, who used to event as an amateur, said: “Although Bicton is located in the Devon, which is several miles from our base in Worcestershire, many riders compete there, including some of the top competitors in the sport and we felt it was the perfect shop window for our lorries.

“I’ve ridden there myself and it’s a stunning location which really lends itself to sponsorship and we are very excited about our new association.

“I’ve also known Helen for a very long time and she is doing such a tremendous job putting Bicton on the map as a premier competition venue that we are delighted to be involved.”

Helen West took over as arena manager at Bicton in 2012 and since then she has implemented several changes including running three British Eventing competitions and two of which now have international status.

She said: “Next year is a very exciting year for us. All our competitions are moving up a level, but at the same time we are also ensuring we cater for the grass roots riders, hence the new competition in July when we will run up to BE100 level.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Rufus

 

 

Bicton Arena is excited to announce that we will be running a CIC** at our April Horse Trials in 2015. The date for our first International Horse Trials will be April 24th-26th 2015. Along with the CIC** we will be running the following classes:

AI, OI, I, ON, N, ON (U18), BE100, BE100 plus, BE100 (U18), BE100 Open, BE90, BE80 (T)

 

Bicton Arena is awarded international status

Bicton Arena has announced it has been awarded international status for its August 2015 horse trials.

The venue will run CIC* and CIC2* classes. Both are regarded as a necessary stepping stones for riders wishing to compete at international level in the UK and Europe.

Arena manager Helen West said: “We canvassed competitors and the support we have received in our quest to gain a CIC for the area has been overwhelming. We then took our case to British Eventing, the sport’s governing body, who agreed with us that there is a lack of opportunity in the south-west.

“It will be welcomed by West Country riders who will be able to achieve FEI qualifications without having to travel hundreds of miles.”

The additional classes will pose many benefits for the arena. They will attract more famous names from the sport. This in turn will increase spectator numbers and  attract more sponsors.

Helen said: “Bicton Arena has so much potential. It is a stunning venue and everything is here to create a leading competition centre in the south-west. Sponsorship is an essential part of that and we hope that more businesses will seize the opportunities.

“I am now very excited about moving plans forward, designing cross country tracks and getting local firms on board, to help make it the success I want it to be.”

 

 The thrill of horse trials at Bicton Arena’s summer competition

 

Top class event riders will be heading to Bicton Arena in East Devon in August when the venue stages its second affiliated horse trials of the year on the 16 and 17 of the month.

Run over Clinton Estate’s stunning rolling parkland in east Devon, some of the top names from the sport are expected to be in action and visitors to the event will be treated to the thrill of cross country action, the grace of dressage and the accuracy of showjumping in classes ranging from BE90 to open intermediate.

Arena Manager Helen West, said: “Our first event in April was a huge success and we were so pleased to welcome so many top names from the sport like Zara Phillips and this year’s Badminton Horse Trials winner Sam Griffiths. August’s event will again be a wonderful opportunity for local equine enthusiasts to get up close and watch the pros in action.”

Sponsorship opportunities are available at the event, including programme advertising and banner space along the majestic driveway.

Showjumping in the main arena, on-sight catering and a range of tradestands all within a stone’s throw of each other, provide a hub for the event while spectators can also enjoy a stroll around the parkland to watch the cross country.

Sponsors include Rathbones, Mole Valley, Everys with Francis Clark recently joining the roster.

For further details visit www.bicton-arena.co.uk. To view entries, visit www.britisheventing.co.uk. For up to date news head to Bicton’s Facebook page or twitter @BictonArena. Entry is £10 per car, with a donation to charity.

>