Bicton Arena to host international stars at end-of-season foray

Pippa Funnel riding Billy Beware at Bicton. Picture WENDY SEARLE

Pippa Funnel riding Billy Beware at Bicton. Picture WENDY SEARLE - Credit: Archant

Bicton Arena is readying itself for the conclusion to the 2019 eventing season, and with nearly 700 entries for its competition, which runs from October 24 to 27, it will be a superb finale for riders and spectators alike, writes Lucy Johnson.

Competing at the event is the 2014 Badminton Horse Trials winner Sam Griffiths, World Equestrian Games 2018 silver medallist Padraig McCarthy and multiple British team medallist William Fox-Pitt.

Among the official sponsors is feed supplement company Animalife, which is also providing boxes of its acclaimed Competition Survival Packs in the goody buckets for riders in the international classes.

Team Animalife's sponsored rider Alex Holman, who will ride four horses at the event including Hocus Locus IV and Carrick Diamond Bard in the two-star class, said: "Bicton is one of my favourite events and it looks set to be a great conclusion to the 2019 season. I am very lucky with the sponsors I have including Animalife, which I feed to my horses and really notice a difference in their performance levels."

Other sponsors at the event include Pure Estate Management (which will provide a welcome drink), Rathbones, Empire Coach Builders, WH Bond, Taylor Wimpey, Leonard Coombes Master Saddlers and Country Life, Redpost Equestrian, Wyvern Equestrian, Protexin, Wychanger and Equine H, with bouquets for winning riders sponsored by Halley Floral Designs.

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Riders of international acclaim will be seen in action, including Harry Meade and Ryuzo Kitajima in addition to Fox-Pitt, McCarthy and Griffiths.

An end-of-season party on the Saturday night is due to feature live music from Riviera Dogs and a hog roast will add to the party atmosphere.

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Organiser Helen West said: "The courses are all looking fantastic here and we're all looking forward to providing the perfect conclusion to the 2019 season. There will be a party in the marquee on the Saturday night with live music and a hog roast, and we'll be adding lots of special touches to ensure the competitors have a great time, and so that spectators feel welcome here too. There's lots to see over the three days and we have on-site catering and trade stands to browse."

Entry is £10 per car on each day, with the end-of-season party £10 per ticket.

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