Global field heads for Brightling

Top riders from all over the world are heading for Brightling Park. Picture courtesy Mark Siggers
Top riders from all over the world are heading for Brightling Park. Picture courtesy Mark Siggers

Top riders from all over the world will battle it out in the 28th annual Reverdy Brightling Park International Horse Trials this weekend.

More than 5,000 spectators are expected to descend on the 18th century Brightling Park estate tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday.

Entrants for the challenging CIC** class include Olympian Mary King, plus top New Zealand riders Andrew Nicholson and Jock Paget.

All eyes will be on last year’s winner, 25-year-old Lizzie Brown, who will be back to defend her title and stake her claim to the enormous £7,000 prize fund thanks to new sponsorship from insurer Amlin Plus.

Riders will compete in three phases - dressage, showjumping and cross-country. The most popular phase is always the final one - cross-country.

The 24-fence course, which was designed by Olympic course builder Scott Brickell, will test the accuracy and training of the horse and rider over natural objects (logs, stone walls), as well as various other obstacles such as ditches, drop fences and banks.

There will also be numerous trade stands and a Pimm’s bar, plus the line-up includes high octane terrier racing, and for those wanting to parade their pooches, a terrier and lurcher show on Sunday with nearly 40 different classes. Entry is £2 per class and all profits go to the East Sussex & Romney Marsh Hunt.

Gates will open at 9am. Entry is £10 per car on Saturday and £15 per car on Sunday including all occupants. For more information, visit www.brightlinghorsetrials.co.uk