Record Entries for Bowmore Blair Castle Horse Trials
Perfect Going at Blair
Wembley Qualifier for Blair Hunters
World wide coverage for Bowmore Blair Castle Horse Trials
The popularity of the Bowmore Blair Castle International Horse Trials with competitors just grows and grows.
Last year there was a record number of entries and balloting took place for the first time. This year, as soon as entries opened on July 8th, they came flooding in from all over the world.
Last years winner, Lucinda Fredericks, and Australian husband, Clayton are returning to their happy hunting ground in the hills surrounding magnificent Blair Castle. Blyth Tait also plans to bring three horses, while Olympic team member, Jeanette Brakewell has also entered the two star class.
Director, Tim Hadaway said, "We are delighted with the entries so far, but also expect a lot of last minute letters and emails as riders are still trying to get their horses qualified. There is no doubt everyone is thrilled that Blair is going ahead and we are looking at another year with maximum runners."
The recent spell of rain has helped ground conditions at Blair Castle for both the cross country and the arena events.
Course designer, Ronnie Alexander, and builder, Irvine Bruce reckon the going will be perfect this year.
Also helping ground conditions is the Broxburn-based company, Russell Groundcare Ltd which supplied various types of lawnmowers as early as mid-July, to start preparing arenas and will be using several different types of grass cutting machines in order to get the best possible finish on both the arenas and the cross-country course.
The course itself is nearing completion for 2001, with quite a number of changes. New for the two star class is the Capercaillie Corner situated after the House of Bruar Water Splash. The corner has been designed to look like the famous Scottish bird, while the two jump alternative has been designed to look like her chicks could that be the "chicken route?"
There is also an impressive new "into space" style fence just before the Bowmore Oyster. Towards the end of the course the WH Malcolm Lochan remains unchanged and director, Tim Hadaway was delighted to receive confirmation of a further three years of sponsorship for this fence from the Malcolm family, who have been great supporters and competitors for many years.
Changes to the one star course include a new, big, one stride double of angled oxers to be known as the Inveralmond Motors Road Block. The Bowmore Steps have also been changed slightly for the one star to include a hanging log on the exit.
The first serious question on the course is always the Glenvarigill Sunken Road, which has been changed for the one star to include a big log before a slope into the road and the step out.
The open working hunter class at this years Bowmore Blair Castle International Horse Trials and Country Fair on Thursday 23rd August will this year incorporate a Wembley Qualifier.
The hunter and working hunter classes at Blair are always well-supported and will again this year include the BHS NFU Mutual Scottish Working Hunter Final. The new qualifier has come to Blair Castle as a result of the Royal Highland Show being cancelled due to foot and mouth, and organisers will be working hard to retain it for future years.
Nimrods Saddlers in Perth will again be sponsoring this section, where it is a real honour to win either ridden or working hunter champion and receive a specially hand-crafted bridle.
The Bowmore Blair Castle International Horse Trials and Country Fair is one of only two events of this kind to be televised in Britain this year. The other is Burghley.
This is the second year in succession that TV coverage has been secured for Scotlands leading equestrian event and this year the programme will be shown on both Grampian and STV channels.
It will also be shown on Sky throughout Britain and Europe, on Fox in Australia and South Africa and via Star in the Middle and Far East where Bowmore Islay whisky is a familiar name. The brand has huge exports to these countries while the parent company, Suntory, is Japanese.
Viewers in America will be able to enjoy the thrills of top class sport in the magnificent surroundings of Blair Castle for the first time via their Outdoor Life channel.For further details please visit the Bowmore Blair Castle International Horse Trials and Country Fair website - click here