Thoresby Park has been awarded the vacant spot in the British Eventing calendar following the loss of Belton International Horse Trials.
At the end of April it was announced the competition at Belton Park, which is owned by the National Trust, would no longer be run due to the risk of irreparable damage to the parkland as the size and scale of the international event was now at odds with conservation at the site. Following the announcement, all organisers were invited to express their interest in hosting the replacement fixture. Seven venues applied and from those, four venues were selected for a site visit by a Venue Assessment Panel.
The new fixture, which will be run by BEDE Events who also organised Belton, was awarded following a presentation to a Stakeholder Panel, which included representation from the Event Riders Association, British Event Organisers Association, Event Horse Owners Association and the Senior Performance Team, from the four final events.
British Eventing’s CEO Jude Matthews said the panel had a very hard decision to make in awarding the event. She commented:
“The key focus has been to ensure the sport selected the best possible venue to deliver such an important early season International. It was a very difficult decision and we fully appreciate that Bicton, Weston Park and Frickley Park will be disappointed. As a sport we, and our members, are incredibly lucky to have such fabulous venues that host affiliated competition and I’d like to thank all the organisers who applied for this fixture.”
Helen Eshelby, Outdoor Events Manager at Thoresby Park, commented; “Thoresby Park are thrilled to have been chosen as the new home for the spring two, three and four star event. We look forward to welcoming the international riders in April 2020 and working with Stuart, Anna and the BEDE Events team on the horse trials for many years to come.”
Stuart Buntine, Director of BEDE, commented; “We are thrilled to have ‘Belton’ back and look forward to taking it to further heights at Thoresby. We thank British Eventing for their confidence in the BEDE team and are well into planning mode for this great new venue.”
Some of the key considerations which led to Thoresby Park being awarded the fixture were the organising team, location, the ability to create a purpose-built venue and land typography being ideal for running a fixture in the early part of the season.