Established by David Howden at his home in Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire, in 2020, this event has taken the equestrian world by storm in just three years – and there are many innovations for 2023.

For the first time, Cornbury House Horse Trials (CHHT) will host the highly prestigious British Eventing Young Horse Championships for five-, six- and seven-year-olds. These will run alongside the well-established international classes at CCI3*-S and CCI2*-S level.

In keeping with David Howden’s passion for helping and promoting young talent, there will also be a new Pony Trial at 1.05m level. This means that CHHT 2023 has three classes for under-21 riders: the Youth Performance CCI3*-S and CCI2*-S sections, and a Pony Trial, all supported by The Howden Way, the development and coaching pathways set up by David Howden in conjunction with British Eventing.

Once again, CHHT’s prize-money will be the highest in the UK at each level, with a total prize-fund for the open sections of the CCI3*-S and seven-year-old championships in excess of £7,000. The five- and six-year-old championships, open sections of the CCI2*-S and under-21 CCI3*-S and CCI2*-S will have a prize-fund of more than £3,000 per class.

The Leading Rider throughout the event will receive a perpetual trophy and a cheque for £2,500.

There will also be British Eventing national intermediate and open intermediate classes.

The cross-country course, designed by David Evans, will have a new look for 2023 with a re-sited start and finish area, and there will be a new track at 1.05m for the five-year-old championship class and the Pony Trial. Dutch international event rider Andrew Heffernan is assisting David Evans and course-builder Adrian Ditcham in the production of CHHT’s courses and is responsible for designing the CCI3*-S track..

For the first time, the 2023 Cornbury House Horse Trials will offer competitors the chance to stable on-site in the high-quality Woodhouse barn-style stabling available at premium events such as Burghley. Stabling should be booked when entries are made.

David Howden said: “We have an incredibly exciting week to look forward to. I am absolutely delighted that Cornbury House is hosting the hugely important Young Horse Championships, as well as a full range of opportunities for our best young riders. Since Cornbury House Horse Trials inception in 2020, I have made no secret of the fact that I am passionate about supporting the best British-based talent and that we are utterly committed to helping the stars of our sport – present and future – to reach their goals.

“We have made considerable investments in the site once again this year, which I hope will be appreciated by riders, owners, grooms and supporters, as well as visitors.

“And, possibly most excitingly, this year’s event will also have the feel of a woodland festival. ‘Field Food’ will showcase the best local produce and Wildwood kids’ activities will involve immersive woodland crafts for children to enjoy over the weekend. 

“We are delighted to be teaming up with Phil Winser and his brilliant team at The Pelican in Notting Hill and now The Bull in Charlbury to create a superb new feasting style hospitality experience.

“Regenerative farming has been a huge passion of mine for 20 years now and our focus is on producing the best flavoured meat from traditional breeds raised here at Cornbury on slow-growing grass, where biodiversity and soil health are key to achieving this.” 

“It has long been my vision to merge the traditional world of eventing with sustainably sourced food and drink and working together we believe the newly created ‘Pelican in the Field’ will be a fantastic addition to this year’s event.”


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