Bicton Arena all set for special two-day July meeting

PUBLISHED: 14:57 27 June 2017 | UPDATED: 14:57 27 June 2017

India John from Modbury in South Devon riding Ballyhooly

India John from Modbury in South Devon riding Ballyhooly

SWEET IMAGES PHOTOGRAPHY

The glorious parklands of Bicton Arena come under the spotlight during the second weekend of July (8-9) when its second British Eventing-affiliated horse trials take place, writes Lucy Johnson.

Classes ranging from BE80T to open novice will be staged, attracting both grass roots riders and those riding horses that are moving up through the levels.

Measures have been implemented to ease the ground including intensive sward maintenance using the arena’s Terra Spike Verti-Drain, which has resulted in vigorous growth and deep rooting thereby allow the dense grass to have a cushion effect.

Arena manager and course designer Helen West said: “Since purchasing a Terra Spike Verti-Drain last autumn, the ground at Bicton has really benefited resulting in a dense covering of grass which eases the impact when galloping and jumping on the terrain. We’ve been delighted with the result.

“The exceptional grass growth, together with other measures in the lead up to the horse trials, such as sanding where necessary, will mean we are able to produce safe going.”

Strong entries for the event have been received from across the levels with the BE80(T) and BE90 classes particularly well supported.

Helen continued: “The aim of my courses is to give those at the lower levels a positive experience and wanting to go out and have another go, while still feeling they have achieved something by completing. I think Bicton’s reputation for building tracks that really encourage riders has grown, resulting in fantastic entries.”

The event has attained support of some prestigious local sponsors, including Leonard Coombe Master Saddlers and Country Life at Newton Abbot, Messrs John Bevan and Pete Appleford, Stags, Redpost Equestrian at Totnes, Wyvern Equestrian Products, West of England Stabling and Sheepham Saddles. Other sponsors include Protexin and KBIS.

The event takes place on July 8 and 9. Entry is free and catering is available on site.

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