UK Horse Trials

Badminton Horse Trials 1996 - Beechwood Photograp - flickr

For a quintessentially British break, a day or two at some of the best UK horse trials is hard to beat. Whether you're after the elegance of dressage, careering cross-country rides or some breathtaking show-jumping, horse trials demonstrate the incredible relationship between man and beast. Witness this awesome display of trust for yourself - arrange your next UK holidays to coincide with one of our pick of the best horse trials.

Badminton Horse Trials - Badminton House, Gloucestershire
Pretty much synonymous with UK horse trials, Badminton has been going since 1949. Rent one of our Cotswold cottages and see why this is the competition riders aspire to win. Along with Burghley and the Kentucky Three Day, Badminton forms part of the Grand Slam of Eventing - these are the three top eventing competitions in the world. Badminton's cross-country day is the real crowd puller, attracting up to a quarter of a million spectators. Even if not everyone in your party is enamoured with equines, Badminton is still a great day out. With shopping and other side attractions, there's something for everyone. Badminton 2011 will be taking place April 21-25 and you can get the lowdown on all the runners and riders on cottages.

Burghley Horse Trials - Burghley Park, Stamford, Lincolnshire
Burghley Horse Trials is an annual three-day event and 2011's will take place 1-4 September. Considered to be one of the top three-day events in the world by experts, the winner takes away a staggering £50,000. The event kicks off with the dressage section, testing the rider's control over his trusty steed. Then it's on to Burghley's knuckle-biting cross-country course. Not for the faint hearted the course has been designed by Captain Mark Phillips since 2005. The third and final stage is the spectacular show-jumping; 580m of pure tension for the competitors. Coinciding with the three-day event is Burghley's Young Event Horse competition final. This can make or break a young horse's future, as judges decide whether they have what it takes to become Olympic champions. If you're after Burghley Horse Trial tickets, then make your way to in Lincolnshire.

Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials - Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire
Set in the grounds of the stunning Blenheim Palace, Blenheim International is now a firm fixture on the UK eventing calendar attracting some 23,000 horses and riders.  There are two days of dressage in the main arena; pure elegance and restraint set against the picturesque backdrop of the palace. This is followed by cross-country and show-jumping over the weekend. Along with the usual stages, Blenheim International Horse Trials has plenty more to give. With over 190 events in total, there are competitions for budding competitors on their ponies, equestrian displays and more than 175 retail outlets. Not to mention Blenheim Palace itself. Take time out from the events to explore Winston Churchill's birthplace with its sprawling parkland (2100 acres of it!) and formal gardens. If you're planning on taking your UK holidays in Oxfordshire, check out to plan a day trip with a difference. Oxfordshire cottages.

Gatcombe Horse Trials - Gatcombe Park, nr. Stroud, Gloucestershire
Have a right royal time at Gatcombe, the private home of Princess Anne. This summer event, also known as The Festival of British Eventing, incorporates the British Open, Novice and Intermediate Championships.  Taking place 5-7 August 2011, Gatcombe offers you the chance to enjoy the gracefulness of dressage to music.  Known as the Musical Kur, the riders put together a sequence that includes all the required movements to their own choice of music.  Gatcombe also offers something a little different - the Shetland Pony Grand National. At only 40 inches tall, these little guys and gals prove that size really doesn't matter. Whether you like your creatures great or small, ticket information for Gatcombe Festival of British Eventing can be found on For holiday cottages in Gloucestershire.

Blair Castle International Horse Trials - Blair Castle, Perthshire, Scotland
UK horse trials aren't just the preserve of middle England.  This event in the heart of Scotland attracts over 37,000 spectators, eager to watch the competitors show what they're made of on the hallowed turf of Blair Castle. You'll find dressage, cross-country and show-jumping events as well as stallion parades, where you meet the cream of the crop in British breeding. If you can tear yourself away from the action, wander round the Bruadar Country Fair that takes place at the same time. Displays of rural pursuits both traditional and modern, and an extensive shopping village will entertain the non-horsey members of your group. The 2011 Blair Castle Horse Trials will take place August 18-21. Rent one of our cottages in Scotland for your UK holidays and experience this equine triathlon for yourself. See for the latest info. Cottages near Perthshire.



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