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A '£200,000 boost to Norfolk' from this weekend's world-class horse trials

PUBLISHED: 10:32 09 April 2019

The Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market International Horse Trials takes place this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Pic: Musketeer Event Management.

The Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market International Horse Trials takes place this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Pic: Musketeer Event Management.

Twelve out of 20 of the world's top eventers including Oliver Townend, Norfolk's Piggy French and Tim Price will be thrilling spectators at one of the biggest dates in the equestrian calendar.

Oliver Townend will be competing at this weekend's Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market International Horse Trials. Pic: Archant.Oliver Townend will be competing at this weekend's Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market International Horse Trials. Pic: Archant.

The Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market International Horse Trials, at Sussex Farm, promises to showcase some of the best riders from around the world although not Brit Ros Canter as she’s pregnant with her first child.

The three day event is a major investment in the local economy too, set to inject around £200,000 into the area and follows last year’s financial loss after much of the trials had to be cancelled due to the bad weather.

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Alec Lochore, event director, who was eventing manager for the 2012 London Olympic Games and currently for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, said the business impact of the Norfolk trials was enormous.

Norfolk's Piggy French will be taking part in this weekend's event. Pic: Archant.Norfolk's Piggy French will be taking part in this weekend's event. Pic: Archant.

“We have 350 stables on site and if you think there will be at least two people, sometimes three, for every horse, you are looking at thousands of people all staying for several nights in north-west Norfolk, needing to eat somewhere, so it’s got a huge economical impact. The weather forecast is good for the weekend, the ground is perfect and we have amazing entries.”

The event, which sees thousands descend on a site just outside the village of Burnham Market, has evolved into one of the most important in the world’s equestrian diary however Alec said it offered something for non eventing experts too.

“It’s a major event, there are riders aiming for the Tokyo Olympics and it’s the only Olympic discipline where men and women compete on equal terms, there is no gender divide.

“It’s also so close to you as a spectator, you can be right there watching as they gallop past, you can see the size of the jump and the speed they go and the accuracy and skill involved.”

He also said there was a lot to make it a fun family day out. Alongside the top class competition, there will be over 40 shops and for children, bungee trampolines and a range of bouncy castles. As well as ‘Razz and Pearl’ who will be performing circus workshops on Saturday and Sunday, there will be excitement from the Lowestoft Dog Display Team. The team will carry out two displays on both Saturday and Sunday with the handlers available to answer any questions. Fen Falconry will be also attending with a variety of birds doing flying displays, weather permitting.

To buy tickets online (with a three day admission ticket available) click here or contact Musketeer Event Management on 01485 210070.

The EDP is a media partner for this event.

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