Belsay International Horse Trials celebrates 10th anniversary with bumper entries

Organisers at Belsay are gearing up for the forthcoming Horse Trials with a full roster of International Classes, including two British National Championships and an exciting line up of competitors including Badminton Champion, Ros Canter and current Eventing World Champion, Yasmin Ingham.  The event, which began at Belsay in 2013, enjoys fantastic support from many of the north east’s leading companies, including headline sponsor Barbour.

“Competitor entries are at capacity and preparations are in full swing to welcome visitors to a fabulous few days of sporting action and family entertainment in our beautiful parkland surrounding Belsay Hall and Castle.  We hope to attract record numbers of visitors looking for fun family outings over the half term holiday,” commented organiser Laura de Wesselow.

Highlights of the event include the British National Pony Championship (for riders aged 16 years and under riding ponies) and the British National Junior Championship (for riders aged 18 years and under riding horses) as well as four other international classes ranging from CCI1* Intro to CCI3*.  Dressage commences on Wednesday 31st May and there will be Show Jumping and Cross Country action right across the weekend from Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th June 2023.

Local professional riders Harry Mutch from Seaton Delaval, Kirsty Heatherington from Newcastle, Emma Carmichael from Morpeth, Emily Orpwood from Wooler and Belsay’s own Jack Mantel will compete alongside many other professional and amateur riders from across the country, as well as a host of juniors.

Competitors in the international three-day event classes like Badminton winner Ros Canter and current Young Rider Champion, Ibble Watson, will ‘trot up’ in front of the stunning backdrop of Belsay Hall, alongside current British Junior Champion Isabelle Cook and other young hopefuls in the Pony and Junior Championship classes.

Meanwhile former Young Rider and Junior Team GB rider Lizzie Baugh also heads to Belsay fresh from her win in the Chatsworth CCI4* class on 14th May. Yasmin Ingham has several horses at Belsay including the stunning Banzai du Loir, the horse she rode to World Championship glory last year.  Former world number one and Badminton runner up Oliver Townend brings six horses to Belsay, where he won the CCI2*-S in 2022.

At 68 years, Scotland’s Ian Stark is the oldest competitor in the field, riding Chatsworth Diamond in the Intermediate Class. An Olympian and past Badminton winner with countless appearances for team GB, Ian is also known for his course designing at Blair and Chatsworth Horse Trials as well as many international courses.

Belsay is the first leg of the prestigious The Northumberland Challenge, a fantastic prize accumulator league that runs across the CCI2*-S and CCI3*-S competitions at Belsay, Alnwick Ford and Burgham International Horse Trials.  With a total prize pot of potentially up to £45,000 generously sponsored by local companies A.W. Jenkinson Forest Products Ltd, N.I.S. Group Ltd and Encon Technical Solutions, the Northumberland Challenge was put together by organisers to attract top riders and boost eventing in the region.

New to Belsay this year is an exciting team competition putting pony and junior riders together with professionals and experienced amateur competitors with a fantastic prize pot for top three teams.  The Belsay All Stars team competition is just one of many initiatives from Project Pony, a charity specifically aimed at promoting young talent in the sport of eventing.

Belsay is well known for its charity fund raising and this year the event will raise money for the British Eventing Support Trust (BEST) and Spinal Research.  Olympic medallist and current European Eventing Champion Nicola Wilson will return to Belsay, where she competed for many years, to help raise money for the two charities that have helped aid her recovery after a heavy fall at Badminton Horse Trials last year left her with life changing spinal injuries.  Fund raising activities include the Nicola Wilson Course Walk at 4.00pm on Thursday 1st June.  All information and tickets are available online at the Belsay Horse Trials website, via Facebook and Instagram.

Alongside eventing, there is a shopping village with over 35 trade stands, numerous food options, children’s fun rides, archery and the popular Belsay Dog Show (2pm every day).  Visitors can watch National Schools Show Jumping on Friday, the BSPS Working Hunter Pony Show on Saturday with Arena Eventing and the ever popular Inter Hunt Relay Competition on Sunday 4th June.  All details and tickets can be found on the Belsay Horse Trials website


In Other News...

Event Reports

It’s all change at the top with High Hopes of defending the TopSpec title

Dressage continued for the second day at Bicton International Horse Trials with all four overnight leader boards being shaken up. Laura Collett took the lead …

Read More →

Class and finesse on show on day one of Bicton International

The first day of competition commenced today at Bicton, Devon for the May International Horse Trials (23 – 26 May) with dressage in the Western …

Read More →