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Eight things you need to know about Somerford Park Horse Trials

Set in the beautiful surroundings of the Cheshire countryside, Somerford Park is one of the UK’s most established equestrian venues and runs two BE fixtures; the first national competition takes place on 19-20 May with an international fixture running from 17-19 August. It enjoys enthusiastic support from leading national and international riders making it a fantastic BE fixture for both competitors and spectators - but here are a few things you might not know about the venue.

Somerford Park Farm has been in the King family since 1976

The facilities are built and maintained to the highest standard for all levels of equestrians to enjoy. Our three key equestrian competitions; BE Horse Trials, Premier League Dressage and August International Horse Trials are always well supported by the leading competitors.

Somerford Park produces an immense quantity of haylage per year 

From 20kg bags up to 4ft bales we have yet to find a horse that doesn’t like it (even supplying some international team horses!) We have some that will even leave hard feed and carrots for their haylage net! 

How many volunteers are at the show over the weekend?

It will take a vast team to create this eventing spectacular - over 150 valuable members of the team and all are essential to the running of the event. There are sheet collectors, fence stewards, arena stewards, live score inputters and caterers who provide food and drink for all of them. You can get involved by contacting Somerford Park’s Volunteer Co-ordinator.

A London 2012 Olympian designs all courses at the May horse trials

Recent winner of the British Eventing Course Design Bursary, Andrew Heffernan, will be designing the cross country courses for the May horse trials (19-20 May), which will follow a new route with some changes to all courses. If you’ve not been to Somerford, Andrew builds encouraging courses with questions to suit the time of year.

An action-packed Sunday will see a change to convention

The International fixture in August will see the CIC2* cross country run before the show jumping, which will run in reverse order, making for an exciting climax to the class before the mounted presentation.

Retail therapy on hand

Our aim is to give competitors and their supporters a great day out, with artisan food outlets and shopping for all the family, plus we run this event in aid of the North West Air Ambulance.

Ones to watch

If 2017 is anything to go by, spectators can expect a stellar line up of international event riders on the entry list; last year saw Tim Price, Laura Collett, Jeanette Brakewell, Sam Ecroyd, Alex Hua Tian, Bill Levett, Harry Meade, former Pony Team Gold Medalist Yasmin Ingham as well as Willa Newton and Izzy Taylor – to name a few!

There are 8.25 acres of surfaced arena…

… and in excess of 100 cross country fences of differing heights and options over 80 acres, including a water jump designed by Mike Etherington-Smith. The site is available to hire for schooling.

Did you know? Izzy Taylor took the Rookery Park Stud CIC2* title aboard DHI Jet Set in 2017. Of her winning ride, Izzy commented: “We had a lovely clear cross country with a couple of time faults, came into the show jumping and did a super clear and won. He’s quite inexperienced for his age but I am absolutely thrilled with how he’s gone today; all courses rode fantastically.”

Interested in being a part of it?

Entries for Somerford Park (1) open 14 April and can be made via the BE website. Somerford Park International (17-19 August) opens for entries on 13 July; gates open from 8am and entry is charged at £10 per car or £5 per person. If you show your BE membership card this will allow you free access. Not a BE member? Find out more about Supporter Membership HERE.

There are sponsorship packages available and start from as little as £300, please contact us to discuss your requirements!