The world number one, the current world and European champions, Olympic gold medallists, competitors from 19 different nations, and nearly 1,000 horses – the stage is set for an eventing bonanza at Cornbury House Horse Trials (6-10 September).
Famous names such as Zara Tindall, William Fox-Pitt, Ros Canter, Tim and Jonelle Price, Andrew Hoy, Tom McEwen, Andrew Nicholson, Piggy March and Laura Collett are bringing horses to Cornbury ranging from the stars of their stables to their most promising young talent. Alongside these top professionals will be the best of the next generation, competing in the weekend’s under-21 and Pony classes under the banner of The Howden Way.
The Oxfordshire event, founded by David Howden at his home, Cornbury Park, in 2020, has quickly become a smash hit with riders and owners, who appreciate the exceptional efforts David and his team go to to provide the best possible conditions, courses and facilities – and prize-money..
Tom McEwen, individual silver and team gold medallist from the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and the inaugural winner of Cornbury’s Leading Rider Award (£2,500 and a magnificent silver perpetual trophy), said: “Cornbury is a fantastic event and gets better and better each year. It’s a great place for young horses to gain experience of the atmosphere of a top-class event, with its spectacular main arena and educational but imposing cross-country courses. And owners love it – it’s a very special place and I’m very much looking forward to the week.”
This year Cornbury hosts the prestigious British Eventing Young Horse Championships for the first time. A year on from David Howden’s instigation of training and talent pathway system The Howden Way in partnership with British Eventing, several members of The Howden Way’s Young Horse Academy are entered in the seven-year-old championship: Zorro B (Lucy Sugden), Carpo Vivendi (Jack Pinkney) and Harthill Samba (Charlotte Rowe).
Alongside the equestrian sport at Cornbury House Horse Trials, new for 2023 is ‘Field Food’ – a celebration of local food and drink, including produce from the Cornbury estate, a range of interactive children’s activities (Wildings) across the weekend, excellent hospitality in partnership with The Pelican, W11 and sister pub, The Bull in neighbouring Charlbury and finally some post-event entertainment following the competition to create a woodland festival feel.
Cornbury House Horse Trials is possibly the only event now in the UK to provide a totally free livestream of all the cross-country action from Thursday, 7 September to Sunday, 10 September. This will be shown on the event’s website, cornburyhousehorsetrials.co.uk.
To buy tickets, see timetables of each competition and for more information, visit cornburyhousehorsetrials.co.uk.