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Saturday, 23 May 2015

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Tynedale: Top riders compete at trials

COMPETITORS from across Tynedale are under starter’s orders as this year’s Burgham Horse Trials gets under way today.

The annual three day event in Morpeth has this year attracted top international riders as well as grass-roots talent.

Running from July 25 to July 27, competitors will strive for excellence in dressage, show jumping and cross country.

Making their debut at Burgham are international riders Giovanni Ugolotti, Piggy French, Paul Tapner, and Polly Jackson.

They are joined by fellow international competitors and Burgham regulars Nichola Wilson, from Northallerton, and Oliver Townend, who will be looking for a repeat performance of some of the fantastic results he has previously enjoyed in Northumberland.

Among the local riders to keep an eye out for is Emma Carmichael, who has just moved her top horse on to advanced level, and seasoned event rider Victoria Pagan on her horse, Vinny.

First-time eventer Julie Wright is another local competitor who will be taking part with her ex-race horse, Ivor.

This year’s event will also be the first for local competitor Sophie Andrews and her mare, Calloway Bay.

Local self-employed groom and life-long horse rider Sam Eke will be participating with Wordsmith.

Burgham is the only event in the region with international status.

The Burgham team has worked hard with course builders for this year’s event, which has dramatically changed the cross country course to make it more spectator- friendly and used new areas of land.

As well as enjoying top quality eventing, spectators can browse stalls offering everything from equestrian equipment to sweets, art and baked treats.

Family fun is also on the menu with face painting, a climbing wall, children’s entertainment and dog agility show.