OWNERS MARQUEE AT NEWLY DESIGNED PONTISPOOL

Pontispool Equine Sports Centre is ringing the changes at its September horse trials which take place on September 20 and 21 with a newly designed course and a marquee for owners on both days of competition.

Course designer Eric Winter has reversed the direction of the cross country courses so that they run anti-clockwise and has designed interesting new tracks at the Equestrian Surfaces-sponsored competition.

Organiser Richard Mitford-Slade said: “The courses aren’t as technical as at our May event and have been built to give confidence giving rounds to those who are moving up from BE100 to novice level, and from novice to intermediate level. They will be great for first timers at this level. The BE100 and 90 tracks have been built to encourage and educate horse and rider.”

The addition of the new owners’ marquee will offer people somewhere to sit, chat among friends, and have a cup of tea or coffee.

Richard said: “We’re really pleased to be able to offer this as an additional facility on both days to owners of competing horses. Without the owners, eventing wouldn’t exist and we hope that as many of them as possible come along and take advantage of our new hospitality area.”

With the competition running each year on a Sunday and Monday, it always attracts a wealth of international riders and this year’s event is no exception. Among those in action are the dynamic New Zealand duo Tim and Jonelle Price and their fellow countryman Jock Paget, British eventing legend William Fox-Pitt, and Ireland’s star riders Austin O’Connor, Padraig McCarthy and Aoife Clarke.

Also having a spin are Holly Woodhead and Kitty King who carried the British flag at the European Eventing Championships at Blair.

Pontispool ambassador Alex Bragg, who will ride six horses at the event, said: “We’re really looking forward to coming to Pontispool with several horses where the encouraging novice and intermediate tracks will be perfect for stepping a few of them up a grade. It’s also great news that there will be an owners’ marquee this year because it will give them somewhere to go and to catch up with friends. It is so important to look after owners and it’s a great new addition.”

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