Bicton starts excting new year of equestrian events

Joseph Bulmer

British Show Jumping Junior and Senior Events (19th – 20th February 2011) mark the start of Bicton Arena’s ‘busiest and most exciting year’ of equestrian competitions to date.

With an enviable line up of affiliated and unaffiliated show jumping plus British Eventing competitions, pony club meets, unaffiliated dressage, training sessions and expert clinics, Bicton Arena is offering something for everyone.

Arena Manager Emma Vine said; “The facilities at Bicton Arena are now second to none here in the south west and 2011 promises to be our busiest and most exciting year yet. It will be the first full year we benefit from our new all weather Arena-Wax Sport Track Pro surface.

“We have our excellent cross country course, built by the Olympic course-builders Willis Bros. Thanks to our sandy loam soil and gentle slopes here at Bicton, the going promises to be good whatever the weather.”

The 2011 season begins with the Bicton Arena Pony British Showjumping 70cm Open Class at 9am on Saturday 19th February. There will be a total of six classes on the all-weather surface. On Sunday 20th, the Bicton Arena Senior British Showjumping classes will begin at 9am, with 7 classes including Senior British Novice, National Amateur Championship Qualifier, 1.05m and 1.10m Open, Newcomers and Horse and Hound Foxhunter/1.20m Open. Entries for both events can be made on the day. There will also be British Showjumping for Seniors and Juniors on March 26th and 27th respectively with the first ever three day event being staged by Bicton Arena from the 13th – 15th May. A second British Showjumping event will be held in September from 16th – 18th.

Unaffiliated show jumping and dressage is being held on a monthly basis from February with the Finals Champion Show on the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd of July.

British Eventing Horse Trials will take place on the weekend of the 30th April – 1st May, with classes up to BE Novice. The Trials were traditionally held pre-Badminton, to help boost fitness and polish technique. Last year the Bicton Horse Trials returned after a three year break, for Intro (BE 90) and Pre-novice (BE 100) competitions. This year the course is equipped for full BE Novice and in 2012, following further improvements, it will also offer Intermediate level competition.

Regular cross country clinics are being run by Mary King, Clissy Bleekman and Nick Gauntlett, details of which can be found on the Bicton Arena website

Emma Vine said: “Bicton Arena is now recognised as one of the best equestrian venues in the south west because of the location and facilities we offer as well as the quality of the grounds, arenas, jumps and stables. The diary for this season is very busy and we would encourage people to check our website for more details and bookings. The cross country course and all-weather arenas are also now open for schooling.”