Great Witchingham plays hosts to top local and international riders

Action from the popular Great Witchingham International Horse Trials at Blackwater Farm. Picture: St

Action from the popular Great Witchingham International Horse Trials at Blackwater Farm. Picture: Steve Adams - Credit: Archant

Great Witchingham International Horse Trials return to Blackwater Farm at Great Witchingham this weekend.

Running from Friday to Sunday, it is the 27th year of the popular event.

There are 550 horses competing over the weekend, with leading Olympic and international riders competing for top honours.

Riders include Tim Price of New Zealand, Mark Kyle from Ireland, Tina Cook, Francis Whittington, Emily Baldwin, Emma Web, Willa Newton, Simon Grieve, Izzy Taylor with 10 horses, Georgie Strang, Alex Postolowsky, Tom Crisp for Great Britain, Brook Staples and Kevin McNab for Australia and Tomoto Kazuma for Japan.

These leading riders are competing against East Anglian riders, all with multiple rides.

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These include Mary Edmondson, Indie Vaughan-Jones, Diana Grant, Sophie Lee, Alice Hallows, Emily Lochore, Caroline and Alice Casburn, Lisa Clarke-Spence, Caroline Smith, Lucy Price, Nini French, Tiffany Morgan-Evans, James Pratt, Virginia Wells, Jo Williams, Katherine Mason, Caroline March, Annabelle Block, Jess Butler and Phoebe Buckley.

Riders will be competing at dressage, show jumping and cross country, which is ridden to an optimum time. Penalties are awarded for each discipline, with the winning horse and rider in each class having the lower number of penalties.

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Dressage starts at 8am tomorrow morning and on Saturday, 8.30am on Sunday, with show jumping at 9.15am and cross country at 10am.

The last horse goes across country at 5.30pm on all three days of the event.

Great Witchingham's courses offer a good selection of well-built fences, with alternatives aimed at first-time novice and BE 100 combinations The entire route runs over gently undulating permanent pasture and grassland and incorporates three copses and natural water obstacles.

There are trade stands and catering, with all classes sponsored by generous local companies. Blackwater Farm is just off the A1067, 1½ miles west of Lenwade at the Reepham turn. Spectators are charged £10 per car full, to include programme, £5 per car with a single occupant, programme included.

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