2009 Cross Country Course Unveiled
2009 Cross Country Course Unveiled
Bramham International Horse Trials Cross Country Course Designer Sue Benson has unveiled her final track for this year's CCI***, Bishop Burton College British Under 25 Championship and CIC*** competitions. Running 11 - 14 June, this will be Sue's last year as designer so she can focus on plans for her biggest challenge to date, the London 2012 Olympics[l1] . While final plans for the CCI*** and Under 25s course were cemented in the Spring, there has be a lot of work to accommodate the new CIC*** course in just a matter of weeks. The recent spring showers and rain have meant that Bramham Park is looking magnificent and the programme of ground works will ensure that the going will be as near perfect as possible for the horses on the cross-country.
The 26-fence course CCI***/Bishop Burton College Under 25s Course entails 40 jumping efforts to test riding skill, bravery and accuracy over approximately 5700 meters around Bramham's scenic parkland and should take about 10 minutes to complete with horses travelling at about 570 metres per minute. Sue Benson has re-routed the cross country so that approximately 50% of the course is on new turf, improving the going further as well as adding interest for spectators and riders alike.
Fences one, The Askham Bryan College Opener and two The Poskitt Carrots Roll Top, get horses and riders underway and alerted to their task. The third, The Point Two Air Jacket Parallel, is a big but straightforward effort before horses get their feet wet for the first time at The Dickinson Dees Upper Pond at fence four.
The Martin House Palisade, named for this year's Bramham Charity, at five has been mindfully positioned ahead of the new Carter Jonas Castle Combination (6ab) which asks riders to make a plan as there are two routes to choose from.
A steep short hill climb brings on The Minster Jaguar Hedge at seven nestled just over the brow. More climbing up to the eighth fence, The Tuffa Cabin, a straightforward effort, and brings the course up onto new ground. Spectators (but not the riders!) can enjoy the view here down the Broad Walk and see the Cascades below the House. For the riders here are The Woodheads Seeds Brushes (9ab) to test fitness.
The Fulmart Feeds Trailer at ten is sited under Horse Chestnut trees before The Openfield View (11) which is sited at the brow of a very steep downhill slope and there is no alternative for the faint hearted. The approach to the twelfth fence - The Smiths Gore Log - is all about control.
Fence 13 is the big HSBC Hay Cart and brings on The Barrels Combination (14ab) which asks the ultimate question of athleticism before The Yorkshire Post Thatched House at 15 must be jumped on the angle if the next two fences, The Land Rover Corners (16ab), are to be negotiated on the direct route. Spectators who make their way up to this part of the course will be treated a truly wonderful view back towards the main House.
The Equi-Trek Saw Bench (17) brings riders to a very fast stretch of the track and the chance to make up some lost time. At 18, left handed steering will be tested by The Rhombuses which are sited at right angles to each other before the three sheep feeders make up The Savills Sequence at 19 where there is little room for error.
A large Triple Brush (20a) nestles on the other side of a hedge and is followed by another turning question, this time right-handed, to a narrow Triple Brush (20b). 21 is The British Horse Feeds Trakhener but the toughest combinations on the course, The Dickinson Dees Lower Pond still looms ahead. The Wall (22) precedes a turn to The Log Wall (23a) followed by three short strides down a steep slope to a sloping Brush into the Pond and The Step out of the water followed by The Well come in quick succession.
The Hiho Silver Tyres at 24, The Generator Power Pheasant Feeder (25) and The Saffery Champness Final Flyer (26) provide the final three efforts and the welcome sight of the finishing flags.
The CIC*** track will comprise 21 fences with 34 jumping efforts over a distance of 4000m to be completed at a speed of 570 meters per minute. Several fences will be shared with the main course but there will be some differences.
Speaking at Bramham Sue commented; "The addition of the CIC*** has given us a few headaches but it's a challenge we've enjoyed and I hope the two courses will give the riders a test and reward positive riding while the spectators will have a day of top class eventing action. When the last horse jumps the last fence I will say a sad goodbye to Bramham. I wish my successor Ian Stark all the best and hope he enjoys his Bramham experience as much as I have."