Bicton International Horse Trials (Thursday, 24th – Sunday, 27th October)

Members of the public are warmly invited to attend the Bicton Arena International Horse Trials this month (October 24th -27th) and watch world class riders and Tokyo 2020 hopefuls go head-to-head.

Around 600 riders are expected to compete at the UK’s final major international event of the eventing season which will include dressage, show jumping and cross-country action.

Riders and spectators can expect to witness top-level riding every day. All the international dressage classes will take place on the Friday, with show jumping, cross-country and the remaining dressage classes featuring on the other three days.

Bicton Arena manager Helen West has been at the helm of the Westcountry’s finest venue since 2013 and recently became the second woman in Britain to achieve accreditation as a three and four-star cross-country course designer; the International Federation for Equestrian Sports’ highest possible accreditation in Europe held by only a handful of people in the UK. Having already assisted with the design of several CIC(3*) courses, Helen designed her first CIC(4*) course at Ballindenisk, Ireland in September.

A professional rider of 14 years, Helen is committed to raising Bicton Arena’s profile and establishing a three-star cross-country event at the venue in the future. She said: “Our International Horse Trials is one of our most prestigious events of the season and really thrilling to watch.

“We have several Olympic riders competing, many of whom will be hoping to compete in the Tokyo Games next summer, and other riders hoping to make their Olympics debut. We have a high-profile roll-call of top-level riders travelling down to Bicton for this event, some of whom are entering as many as five or more horses, so they’ll be plenty of opportunity to catch them in action.

“We are keen to encourage the public to come along and see some of the world’s best riders and enjoy the setting – it’s not very often you get to see so many top-level sportspeople compete on your doorstep.”

Owned by Clinton Devon Estates, Bicton Arena occupies 156 acres of Grade 1 listed parkland and attracts around 10,000 horses and 20,000 riders and spectators annually. Bicton is currently one of only two venues in the country to host international horse trials as well as top-level show jumping and dressage competitions.

On the Saturday, the Protexin three-day BE100 roads and tracks section will take place up on the beautiful Pebblebed Heaths which surround the Arena. Bicton is the only affiliated BE event to run a long format three-day event at this level, aimed at the amateur rider.

Beccy Barrett, Events and Sponsorship Coordinator for Bicton Arena, added: “All the riders are keen to end the season on a high, so spectators are in for an exciting few days.”

Entry to the event is £10 per car. There will be trade stands and food outlets available as well as a bar. From 7.30pm on the Saturday, members of the public are invited to join the riders in the marquee for PURE Estate Management’s end of season party featuring a live band. Tickets, which can be bought on the door, are £10 and include a hog roast supper and a welcome drink.