Bicton waters ahead of horse trials where top riders are set to compete

Professional event rider Helen West, who recently took over the management of equestrian venue Bicton Arena in East Devon, has said measures will be taken to ensure the going is safe at its British Eventing competition in three weeks time (August 17-18).

The long, dry hot spell has resulted in hard ground across the UK, but water will be added to all the courses during the week prior to the event and it will also be aggravated.

West said: “As an event rider myself, I know how important it is that the ground is safe for horses to run on and in light of that we will be pulling out all the stops to provide the best going we possibly can, particularly where the course runs over farmland.”

The new dressage arenas will also be watered and the show jumping and warm up will take place on all-weather arenas.

Other changes include the removal of a combination towards the beginning of the BE 100 and BE 90 courses with a new easier fence in its place and the intermediate course will include a fence in the main show jumping arena, accessed by coming down the Derby Bank.

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West said: “It’s a really lovely event with cross country courses that require positive riding. There are questions but it is very fair at the same time and there are alternatives at the more difficult fences. It is also a wonderful opportunity for local equine enthusiasts to come along and watch top riders in action.”

The event takes place in the stunning parkland setting of Bicton which has easy access, ample facilities, a bar, catering and tradestands.

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Entries this year include European team members William Fox-Pitt and Lucy Wiegersma. Other riders include Mary King and Australian Olympic team rider Sam Griffiths.

The competition is free to attend for spectators and the action commences each day from 8.30am.

For more details please contact Helen West on 01395 441162 or visit

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