The Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials hosts an action packed four days of top equestrian sport and entertainment.
The Dodson & Horrell Hunter Classes have always been a very popular competition and host qualifiers for the prestigious Horse of The Year Show.
These classes are complimented by the ETrot2 Event Horse Breeding and Young Stock classes which allow breeders to introduce their foals and young stock to the world of Eventing.
The Burghley Dubarry Young Event Horse competition attracts many of the horses who have the potential to become top event horses, and may well be seen competing in the CCI*** or CIC*** competitions in years to come.
Everybody loves the Pony Club... At Bramham, we have the Country Store Pony Club Team Show Jumping Competition - and also the every popular Great Yorkshire Show Mounted Games. The Pony Club plays an important part in the development of the younger rider. Many of our top international event riders began their riding careers in the Pony Club.
The British Showjumping classes are overwhelmingly popular and Bramham is fortunate to be able to continue to attract world famous show jumpers.
The main competition is the Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials - which is run at CCI*** level. The Event runs over four days - from Thursday through to Sunday and each competitor must complete each phase - their overall penalty score provides the final result. This competition presents the ultimate challenge of horsemanship because it requires the horse and rider to perform three totally different activities within the same competition: dressage, cross-country and show jumping. It takes at least three years of training to prepare a horse for an Event of Bramham’s level, and the difference between success and failure can be a very fine line.
Dressage is the first phase of the competition which takes place during Thursday and Friday in the West Arena. This phase is designed to test the training and discipline of the horse and rider and consists of a pre-set test which is judged subjectively by a team of experienced professionals. The leading rider will be the one with the lowest penalty score after this phase.
The cross-country is held on Saturday and is all about the trust between horse and rider. The rider needs to judge pace and speed in order to complete the challenging 24-28 fence course run over approximately 6000 metres. It is a thrilling phase which is run at over 20mph and includes several multi element and generally complicated obstacles. Competitors are given penalties for any refusals or falls during this phase and they are also required to complete the course within an 'optimum time'. Failure to do so results in further penalty marks being given. The rider needs to be confident, and quick thinking to complete this phase successfully, and also needs to have that 'special partnership' with their horse.
The final day of the Event is the show jumping. Only the horses who completed the cross country and remain fit and healthy following the cross-country day will be permitted to compete this final nail-biting phase. All of the remaining horses are checked thoroughly by the Event vets prior to the show jumping. This phase is run in reverse order of merit, creating an electric atmosphere for the audience and a lot of pressure for the riders. It demands accuracy, athleticism and, especially when under pressure, a calm head on the part of both rider and horse. Errors in this phase can rearrange the scoreboard dramatically.
Even the most experienced rider can feel nervous under the pressure of the moment, which is what makes it so difficult to achieve top honours in this sport and why those who do make such worthy winners.
To see photographs of all the arena classes, please click on the link below. All photos can be purchased online.