This year’s FEI Blair Castle Equi-Trek Horse Trials will run two days of cross country action, providing even more excitement for riders, owners and spectators travelling to the beautiful Highlands of Scotland in August.
As usual competitors in the CCI Three Day Event classes, held at one star, two star and three star level, will do their dressage on Thursday and Friday, before tackling Blair’s unique terrain across the country on Saturday, and show jump in the main arena on Sunday.
However, due to the launch of the new Event Rider Masters (ERM) series, of which Blair Castle plays host to the fifth leg, spectators on Sunday will have the choice of watching show jumping or taking to the cross country course once more to watch the ERM CIC3* competitors and, subject to sufficient entries, regular CIC3* combinations.
New Course Designer Alec Lochore is ringing the changes this year, with both the CCI2* and CCI3* courses running through the Castle garden and over the garden wall. Although many fences will be jumped in the same direction as usual, the tracks themselves take the opposite direction to recent years, with no steep inclines towards the end of the course.
“I have designed quite a few new fences, particularly for the CCI1* and CCI2* competitors, creating some great new features, while the 3* riders no longer tackle the leafpit,” said Alec. “I want riders to be forward thinking and positive, with combinations being both educated and prepared towards their next level. Above all, I want horses and riders to enjoy themselves – which they will if they attack the courses positively.”