Preparations under way for returning Burgham Horse Trials

Action from the 2014 Burgham Horse Trials at the Owen Pugh fence.
Action from the 2014 Burgham Horse Trials at the Owen Pugh fence.

A sporting event is set to make a welcome return to Northumberland this month with organisers saying it will be bigger and better than ever.

The Burgham International Horse Trials, sponsored by regional construction firm The Owen Pugh Group, gets under way on Thursday, July 30, through to Sunday, August 2.

As many as 800 competitors, including some major international names, will be competing in showjumping, dressage and cross country across the four days, with more competitions taking place than ever before.

For the first time since 2011, showjumping will make a welcome return.

In addition, the prestigious Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse Classes return to the event on the Friday.

The competition will provide an early glimpse of potential ‘four star’ horses considered to be the best material to make a world class three-day event horse.

The qualifiers from Burgham International will contest the final at the prestigious Burghley Horse Trials in September.

As well as growing on the sporting front, the event will incorporate more course-side attractions that ever before.

More than 40 trade stands showcasing products from saddlery to wicker baskets will be located at the 300-acre site, and there will be a host of family attractions including a bungee run.

Martyn Johnson from the organising committee, said: “The horse trials continue to grow in stature after being awarded international status last year, and our forthcoming event is set to be bigger and better than ever with something for everyone from aficionados of equestrian sport to those looking for a great family day out.

“Showjumping is back on the agenda after a four-year break and guests will be in for a real treat as some of the leading world event riders return to Burgham International.

“We’re absolutely delighted to see the return of the prestigious Burghley Young Event Horse qualifiers which will provide a unique opportunity to see some of the very best potential young event horses in action.

“It’s shaping up to be something really special and I hope that the public come out to enjoy the occasion.”

Well known international competitors including Paul Tapner, Oliver Townend and Nicola Wilson have all previously competed in the trials and organisers are expecting to attract even more major international names for July.

“Burgham International Horse Trials is now widely regarded as a stepping stone to the likes of Badminton and Burghley,” added Johnson.

Owen Pugh, a full service civil engineering firm headquartered in Dudley, North Tyneside, is title sponsor for the event for the second year running.

John Dickson, chairman of the Owen Pugh Group, said: “Burgham International Horse Trials is the only international event of its kind in the north east and is something that the whole region should be proud of.

“Owen Pugh is immensely proud to be associated with Burgham and we will be offering our support to the organising committee over the coming weeks.”

Tickets are available to buy online priced from £3 per adult for the Friday. For full ticket prices visit