Stunning venue for new Norfolk event

This is a very exciting time for Musketeer Event Management and Houghton Hall as they are hosting their first ever International Horse Trials this weekend at this stunning venue in North West Norfolk.

This is a very exciting time for Musketeer Event Management and Houghton Hall as they are hosting their first ever International Horse Trials this weekend at this stunning venue in North West Norfolk.

The Palladian mansion built by Britain's first de facto prime minister, Sir Robert Walpole is now home of the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley and it stands in over 600 acres of both wooded parkland and grazing. It will be open during the event today and Sunday.

The recent rain, sandy soil and old turf have made the going near perfect for those international and local competitors, a different scenario to Badminton a couple of weeks ago.

Today sees the main dressage for both the 1 and 2 star events going into Friday while the cross country will take place on Saturday alongside a host of other attractions and finally Sunday will see the show jumping.

Local riders will be out in force with Sarah Wales, Piggy French, Louise Barber and Sharon Hunt to name but a few competing.

The venue will also host The Burghley Young Event Horse and Pony Qualifiers tomorrow and Saturday so there will be a comprehensive equestrian programme for all those attending.

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For more on the Houghton Hall Horse Trials turn to Page 18.

t The North Norfolk Show, staged earlier this month, is run by the North Norfolk Harriers Hunt, one of the few hunts in the area who still run a show for everyone. Without the Hunt supporters this event would not happen.

They sponsor, help set up and steward on the day. However in order to keep going they will need more sponsorship and support.

The showjumping arenas and the take off and landings in the working hunters and unaffiliated were watered and lots of effort was put in by Blackwater and the North Norfolk Harriers, which resulted in the best going for a month.

Good entries in the various showing and dressage classes meant everyone, including the judges, had a splendid day although the weather was a bit on the chilly side. The atmosphere was good and everyone, workers and competitors alike had an excellent time.

This is still the largest one day all round yearly show left in Norfolk and organisers would be happy to give consideration to additional or different classes should they be requested.

Although numbers were down this was good in some respects as it meant that local riders had a chance, such as Peter Davis. The retired eye specialist came second in the affiliated showjumping and his wife came second with her Connemara Stallion in the M&M unaffialated

Other local riders such as Hayley Clarke on Dutch Thunder came second in the 1.05 sponsored by Wroxham Saddlery.

Chris Carman, the new Master Huntsman of the Harriers, won the local working hunter sponsored by Mark Pell for people who have hunted with various packs over the last season.