The weather held for the Petplan Equine Summer Area Festivals at Bicton Arena 11 – 13 August. Once again, the atmosphere was buzzing and we were treated to a wonderful range of horses and ponies across the three days of the competition. 

“Congratulations to all the competitors who have got their hands on a ticket to the Summer Championship at Arena UK in October, with two qualifiers per class there were lots of very happy faces,” said Andrew Fell, Bicton Arena Manager.  “As always, the Petplan Equine Area Festivals bring that something extra special to Bicton and we thoroughly enjoy the event. For so many of the horse and rider partnerships competing with us at this event, it is the pinnacle of their dressage achievements so far and we see many come back at a higher-level year after year.”

Sara Church winner of the Prelim Bronze class certainly loves the Petplans – judging by her huge smile in the pic below with her lovely Irish hairy pony Charlie XXXI.  Scoring a super 67.92 to just snatch the top place from fellow qualifier Nicola Windley on Shirsheen Merlin, Sara was absolutely over the moon. “He is such a cool dude,” Sara said. “He can turn his hoof to anything, loves his jumping, horse agility and we’ve even done Concours d’élégance classes, he can produce a really good test too.  We changed instructor a couple of years ago after Covid and went right back to basics.  I now feel the building blocks are in place and for a hairy Irish pony he is just amazing.  I never thought we would win amongst 39 other riders – it was a ‘Wow!’ moment for sure!”

Paula Lee on Deseado Santo a seven-year-old Spanish gelding, winners of the Medium Silver class had quite a story to tell about their journey to the Petplan Equine Area Festival at Bicton.  “I’ve had him for two years and we really haven’t been anywhere or done anything up until a few months ago.  He has competed about five times – all of the shows here at Bicton so he hasn’t travelled far.  We went out at Prelim just to see how he coped at a show and he was so good we decided to go straight to Medium – a bit of an unusual plan but he just loves going sideways – it’s his happy place so we decided to go at a level he could show his talents off.  He is a really rewarding horse to ride – he just wants to please and gives you so much – sometimes it’s too much! We’ll have to go a bit further afield preparation for the Summer Championships – but Bicton really is our favourite venue.”

Full results from the show can be found here.

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