Bicton offering Easter Sunday ‘high-octane sporting action’

Katie Hancock in action at the Bicton Arena. Picture JAYPHOTOSBICTON

Katie Hancock in action at the Bicton Arena. Picture JAYPHOTOSBICTON - Credit: Archant

Easter Sunday (April 21) at Bicton Arena International Horse Trials promises to provide the whole family with a feast of high-octane sporting action, coupled with free entertainment for the children, writes Lucy Johnson.

For sports aficionados, entries read like a who’s who of eventing, with more than 800 horse and rider combinations in action over the course of the competition, which takes place from April 19 to 21.

The feature class is the Rathbones CCI-S three star, an international class that has attracted riders of the highest calibre, including Andrew Nicholson, Christopher Burton and World Equestrian Games team gold medallist Tom McEwen.

Other riders in action include World Games silver medallist Padraig McCarthy. In the Goodbye Flys advanced intermediate, several horses are having a preparation run ahead of the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, including Ireland’s Padraig McCarthy, who rides his World Equestrian Games silver medallist Mr Chunky. Other Badminton-bound horses in action are New Zealand’s Mark Todd with NZB Campino and Australia’s Sam Griffiths on Billy Liffy. Organiser Helen West said: “Every year Bicton Arena goes from strength to strength and this has been our strongest entry yet since we first held international classes.

“We have some fabulous sponsors on board and a great team of volunteers.

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“Indeed, it’s thanks to all of them that we are able to hold three days of first class competition.”

While the world’s top event riders provide the equine entertainment, for children, as it is Easter Sunday, there’s an Easter egg hunt in the main arena.

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The hugely popular Tractor Ted will be in attendance with his giant puzzles, and activity trail, while for further cuddly adventures there’s a mini farm.

There’s also a Family Dog Show, sponsored by Vetspec for Dogs, with fun classes just £2 to enter. Easter Sunday at Bicton Arena’s International Horse Trials will be action-packed and filled with fun, while Good Friday and Easter Saturday are the chance to enjoy the East Devon countryside, browse the tradestands, and watch great riders and horses in action.

There is also onsite catering and a licensed bar. Entry is £10 per car on each day. Further details are available at

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