Weston News Items
World Class Competition
- Published: 31 March 2017
The world's leading riders including Zara Tindall, William Fox-Pitt, Oliver Townend, Andrew Nicholson, Sir Mark Todd and Izzy Taylor will be competing at this highly popular event, which takes place on Saturday and Sunday 8th and 9th April.
Situated on the Shropshire/Staffordshire border, the house was built in 1671 and has been the ancestral home of the Earls of Bradford. Today the House and Park is a Charitable Foundation, the family collections of porcelain, antiques and portraits are available for all to enjoy. It is through staging events such as the Horse Trials that the ongoing restoration and maintenance of this historic Estate is financed.
The superbly constructed course, designed by Janet Plant, will run over a thousand acres of rolling wooded parkland and the fences are solid and imposing. Each class runs over a different course designed to be testing but fair. Janet Plant comments "it is a real buzz and privilege to design on such a fabulous estate. Once again we welcome the Charles Owen Pony Trial, which we have run for a number of years' - this has attracted a large number of entries and will prove to be an exciting competition".
The course for the Novice classes – sponsored by Moores Metals, Landsbrook Stud and Mirrors for Training plus the Charles Owen Pony Trials will run on the central park giving wonderful views from the vantage points which is greatly appreciated by owners and spectators. The Show Jumping has been relocated down near the Kidney Pool. There will be a separate arena each day which should produce good going for everyone. The Show Jumping course will be designed by our new designer Martin Cox who has a great deal of experience and we give him a warm welcome to the 'Team'.
For many of the top riders in the Advanced sections this event acts as an ideal 'warm –up' for the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials in May. The Advanced course includes four new beautifully designed fences!
These horses will run Cross Country on Sunday between 1 pm and 4pm – so be sure to be in the park early! The event are delighted long-standing supporters, David and Catherine Witt, owners of Rookery Park Stud, are kindly continuing their sponsorship of the Advanced class.
Once again the hotly contested Open Intermediate Under 21 section will see our young riders and juniors competing for a place in the British European teams this summer. Friends of Weston Park support the Open Intermediate sections and in addition there will be three Intermediate sections all battling for a place in the British Intermediate Championship qualifier.
Saturday – Novice and Open Novice plus the Pony Trials
Dressage 8am; Show Jumping 8.45 am; Cross Country 9.45 am
Sunday – Intermediate, Open Intermediate and Advanced classes: Dressage 8.O0am Show Jumping 8.45 am; Cross Country 9.45am Advanced horses 1pm to 4 pm.
Admission: Cars with a BE membership card – free. Non-members Adults £10 per person; accompanied Children under 12 years are free.
Walk round the beautiful parkland, enjoy looking at the varied and interesting range of trade stands and indulge in some shopping, with everything from country clothing and equestrian products to fashion accessories on show. Hot and cold fast food facilities are available or bring a picnic to eat while enjoying events in the main arena. There is something for all the family to enjoy!
Location: Weston Park is situated at Weston under Lizard, Shropshire on the A5, 7 miles west of junction 12, off the M6 and junction 3 off the M54.
Interviews and photo opportunities can be arranged. For further details please contact: Vicky Plant - Tel: 07779 017421 or visit the website www.westonht.co.uk
During the event please contact Rachael via her mobile 07889 083194
Location change for Show Jumping
- Published: 13 March 2017
In 2016 the weather conditions caused problems with the Novice show jumping arena. As a result the arena has been relocated down near to the Kidney Pool. There will be a separate arena each day which should produce good going for everyone. We also have a new SJ course designer this year, Martin Cox, who has a great deal of experience and has built some fabulous courses. I am sure you will give him a warm welcome to the team.
Thank goodness for internet entries, Lesley and Paul Hagerty our entry secretaries spend the winter in New Zealand but when Paul had Chicken pox he was not fit for his return flight so they found themselves a week later opening entries on the return flight stopover in Auckland airport, now that's dedication.
With only a week to go before ballot day entries for all sections are coming in and the office is very busy dealing with sponsors, volunteers and trade stands. Looking at the 2016 map of where our competitors originate we continue to be impressed with their dedication, and early starts, as they travel from as far as Scotland, South Wales, the South Coast, Northumberland and Suffolk.
We have been very lucky with the weather and, between wet days, have put out Weston's courses. The team is really enthusiastic about the April Event and we have had such fun putting 59 portable fences out. It is a real buzz and privilege to design on such a fabulous estate. Just as a competitor has a setback in their training so do designers and builders. I had budgeted to build 2 new Advanced fences for 2017 but one old Advanced fence, the Flower Box, just fell apart as James lifted it and another has suffered damage over the winter. Looking on the bright side the Advanced will now get 4 new fences. Intermediate and Advanced courses will run in the same direction as 2016. However the use of portable fences has given us the opportunity to change many of the combinations giving the courses a fresh feel and challenge.
Once again the Novice course will run on the central park without road crossings, as it did last spring. This gives wonderful views of most of the course from a couple of vantage points which I know is much appreciated by the owners. Once again the Novice course will welcome the Charles Owen Pony Trial which we have produced for many years. The good news is that there has been a big influx of Ponies registering for these trials so make sure your Pony entries are in before ballot day.
Competitors please note that you need to allow time to get up to dressage for all sections as dressage will be at the top of the park on very good going.
We look forward to welcoming competitors into the park this April, don't forget to send in your entries so that you're not disappointed.
Janet Plant – Joint Organiser
The Blue Chip Challenge is Back for 2017!
- Published: 30 January 2017
Win a year's Sponsorship with Blue Chip
British Eventing are delighted to once again support the continued alliance of Blue Chip Feed and Weston Park Horse Trials who last year worked together to produce a new initiative, The Blue Chip Central North West BE80(T) Challenge.
The organisers of Weston Park Horse Trials are thrilled to be working with Blue Chip to continue this exciting opportunity for grassroots combinations.
This challenge was designed to enhance the education of the BE80(T) competitor, attracting new competitors to British Eventing and last year provided the Grassroots of our sport within the region an exciting end to their season. The final proved to be so popular with competitors that two sections were run at the final with Blue Chip Feed providing a years sponsorship to the winner of each section.
Blue Chip, who have supported Weston Park since it welcomed the Grassroots riders in 2013 are again very generously offering a Year's Sponsorship to the winner of this Central North West BE80(T) Challenge. This great prize will include a feed balancer and supplement for one horse for one year, and Blue Chip clothing for the rider and their groom/helper and the winning horse, with the winner starring in Blue Chip promotions. What a fantastic prize!
The challenge will again run qualifiers within The Central North West, the 8 qualifying events listed below will qualify 4 combinations in each of their BE80(T) sections. If a combination have already qualified then qualifications will pass down the line to 8th place. Both horse and rider must be eligible to compete in BE80(T) classes on the date of the Challenge Final. The combination must not have qualified for the 2017 BE90 or BE100 Mitsubishi Motors Cup. Blue Chip will provide prizes and medal rosettes for all qualifiers and are offering fabulous prizes down the line at the Blue Chip BE80(T) Challenge Final.
Clare Blaskey, founder of Blue Chip Feed, said "Blue Chip is thrilled to continue with their support of the Blue Chip BE80(T) Challenge. We were thrilled with last year's championship which had two great winners who Blue Chip are sponsoring this year. As a company we have always supported grassroots riders and Blue Chip BE80(T) Challenge is the perfect championship for riders starting out their eventing career."
The Blue Chip Challenge Final will be an educational day with full support from BE accredited coaches for the dressage phase and dedicated course walks for the show jumping and cross country. The Dressage test, Show jumping and Cross Country will be as per the rules for BE80(T) competitions. Weston Park has experience in show casing Championship level events with an educational Cross Country Course which has become respected for its bold and encouraging beautifully built and dressed fences at a championship level.
2016 had two sections and one of last year's winners Chloe Fairley is delighted the Challenge is continuing and commented:
"It is very exciting to hear that the wonderful Blue Chip Central North West BE80(T) Challenge is being held again in 2017 and with the final at the beautiful Weston Park. Winning was the highlight of 2016 (and I got married so it had some competition!). I, like so many other grassroots riders, work full-time and have to fit the horses around my work so having a Championship like this to aim for really makes all the 5am starts and 10pm finishes worthwhile.
The prizes Blue Chip provide are incredible. Not only do they supply feed for your horse for a whole year, and give you lots of advice to make sure it is the best one for your horse, but you also get numnahs, rugs, coats and lots of other goodies. I feel incredibly proud riding round at events, hacking out and even walking round town in our Blue Chip kit. They also provide wonderfully generous prizes for all the qualifying events.
The final at Weston Park had a real 'championship' feel. To be able to gallop around the stunning parkland and over such beautifully presented fences was a massive thrill.
It is testament to the excitement of the event that both my sister and husband have been inspired to have a go at qualifying for the championships. My husband only started riding in his late 30's and my sister hasn't competed for more than 10 years. I took part in a charity race at York Racecourse in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support in 2014 and the horse I rode that day retired from racing last year. His trainer has given him to me to see if he can be retrained - so I am hoping to aim him for this too. There is going to be fierce competition in our yard to try and be the face of Blue Chip 2018!"
Our other section winner Georgia Butler commented: "Thank you so much to Blue Chip for running the Central North West BE80(T) Challenge. 2016 has been my first full season eventing since I was a teenager (approximately 25 years ago!!!) and the Challenge was absolutely tailor made for people like me."
The Challenge has a dedicated educational Facebook group, supported again by Blue Chip, which will provide competitors with information to help prepare them to compete in a BE80(T). Competitors will be able to view informative videos, and ask questions about all aspects of competing at this level.
Final comment from Chris Farr, BE Sport Operations Manager "The inaugural Blue Chip Central North West BE80(T) Challenge was an unqualified success with very deserving winners in Chloe Fairley and Georgia Butler. BE are delighted this initiative was so well supported in 2016 and we are sure 2017 will only see it grow. This is a great additional opportunity for members competing at the events involved in the challenge culminating in an exciting final at Weston Park (2)."
Qualifying Events 2017
Stafford (1) 17th – 19th March
Kelsall Hill (1) 21st – 23rd April
Llanymynech (1) 13th – 14th May
Somerford Park (1) 20th – 21st May
Berriewood 10th & 11th June
Stafford (2) 14th – 16th July
Llanymynech (2) 26th - 27th August
Kelsall Hill (2) 22nd – 24th September
Qualifiers will be displayed on the Weston Park Challenge page