Hundreds of showjumpers will be heading to the popular East Devon venue when it stages its most ambitious show to date
Bicton Arena will be staging the biggest show in its history when a six day long showjumping spectacular begins on June 12.
Eight hundred horses will be jumping over the six days in three arenas over heights ranging from 80cms to a 1.40m Grand Prix, sponsored by Stockdale Asset Management.
Arena manager Helen West said: “It’s going to be incredibly busy but we’ve got a great team here and everything should run like clock work. We will be working around the clock to keep everything running to schedule, including removing the muck heap daily! We’re expecting at least 60 tonnes which will be trucked away by local farmer Alan Carter who will use it on his maize fields.”
An army of helpers will be on hand including 30 paid pole pickers, as well as people supplying haylage, straw and shavings, extra loos and additional catering. Arena assistant Beccy Barrett, who will ensure all the cogs keep turning during the six day extravaganza, said: “There’s a lot to think about, but really it should be like any other British Showjumping show, except it goes on for longer!”
Over the six days more than 500 hundred horses will require stabling with 385 in temporary accommodation and the rest residing in the arena’s permanent buildings.
One of the horse bedding suppliers is Nigel Dunn whose company Chipmunk Bedding also sponsors a class in the Rathbones main arena. He said: “We’re proud to sponsor and supply animal bedding at Bicton. We supplied the bedding at Bicton for many years in the past and are glad to be doing so again. Communication with them is great now and we’re happy to be a part of the team. We’re really looking forward to it.”
Camborne-based showjumper Andrew Williams, who will bring a team of horses, said: “With these better classes, such as the Area Trial and the Grand Prix, riders are going to come from much further afield which is fantastic for Bicton. The schedule is very good, particulalry at this show, and the prize money keeps getting better and better.”
Other leading Westcountry’s names who will be heading to Bicton include Justin Tuff from Totnes who said: “It’s fantastic that Helen has got these competitions placed locally. It’s set to be a really great event. The team there thoroughly deserve it too. Everything looks amazing, the set up is superb, and really there’s no better place to put on a show!”
Paul George who will both be riding and sponsoring at the show through Paul George Sports Horses added: “Helen has put on some great classes with a really improved schedule which is much less complicated than it used to be. This makes life much easier for competitors, which is great when you’re riding lots of horses.
“The main arena is being used well now too with the better classes in there which ensures the top quality surface remains as such. It’s really super to have a proper permanent home for these competitions. It’s just one hour away from me, which is perfect – and that’s why I’m delighted to sponsor a class there too.”
The arena has attracted dozens of new sponsors including TopSpec whose spokesman Katy Mickle said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring at Bicton Arena. It is a fantastic venue with top class competition and just needs some great weather for this fantastic show.” A spokesman from Horsezone, a new premium equine classified site launched in association with Tattersalls, added: “We are delighted to be sponsoring Bicton for the next two years. It is a fantastic venue, running a variety of events and we are very excited to be supporting it.”
Three showjumping arenas will be an action throughout the six days and both West and Barrett are confident their latest project will put the venue at the forefront of showjumping in the south of England.