Some major milestones will be marked at this year’s Whitehead Vizard Wilton Horse Trials. This year will be the 42nd running of the event and the 20th under the organisation of Anthony Ffooks. It will also be the 12th year the competition has been headline sponsored by Whitehead Vizard – a Salisbury based solicitors firm.
The even runs on 28th and 29th July with national eventing classes ranging from BE100 to Open Intermediate, with some exciting changes being planned.
The biggest of these will be the moving of the cross-country start and finish. It has always been a minor problem having the lorries and trailers crossing the start and finish line and this was exacerbated last year with wet weather. With a lot of thought and planning, the start will now be at the top of the lorry park with Fences 1 and 2 being jumped before crossing the drive. The last few fences will be along the bottom of the lorry park up the side and finish beside the start. This also means the first water jump will return to being jumped by all classes away from the lorry park.
Other changes are a trial of new food vendors. Thai cuisine from Thai and Thai Again and Italian street food and aperitivo from Salisbury based MYO will be amongst those serving hungry competitors and visitors. These will sit alongside Farm to Fork (serving traditional burgers and bacon sandwiches), Laval fresh ground coffee and tea, Pancrepes, Lovington ice-cream and Puddings and Prosecco. There will also be a new official photographer with Topshots on site to capture the moment for each rider.
For those thinking of coming to Wilton Horse Trials for the first, they can visit www.wiltonhorsetrials.co.uk to see the new drone filmed video which will give you an overall feel of the layout and the event.
Organiser Anthony Ffooks also has some advice for riders; “Feel free to email or telephone me to ask about the cross-country courses and their suitability to you. I am the only person who knows what the courses are. Others will know the terrain and the normal philosophy of Wilton courses but no one else knows what is planned for this year. I have competitors who annually travel up to 150 miles to come to Wilton so hopefully I am doing something right.”
“Due to the long period of dry weather, all areas will be equivated – warm up and arenas, and sand will be placed on necessary landings. The majority of the site has plenty of grass and anywhere that hasn’t will be heavily equivated. All reasonable things will be done to present the best ground.
Preparations are going well. The ground is firm – as it is everywhere – but we already have 25 tonnes of sand, the equivator is booked and I will springtine harrow, which improves the equivating. All is on old turf and I am using area for the cross country that has not been used before.”