TWO high-profile equestrian events will take place at Northumberland College’s Kirkley Hall campus this summer.
The campus, located near Ponteland, will be hosting British Eventing and Affiliated British Dressage this June.
It was selected to host the competitions on the strength of its equine facilities. It has a 25-horse stable yard, eight DIY stables for students, a demonstration area, two floodlit 60x30m outdoor all-weather arenas, a cross-country course and a 50x25m indoor riding arena.
The events are expected to attract hundreds of competitors and spectators from all over the North East and further afield and will strengthen Northumberland’s presence in the eventing and dressage calendar.
Vice Principal of the Kirkley Hall campus, Marcus Clinton, has vast expertise and knowledge of the equestrian industry. He is currently a British Show Jumping Association Judge and was previously chairman of The British Horse Society in Staffordshire.
He also wrote and released the book Horse Business Management and has previously organised hundreds of affiliated and unaffiliated equine competitions including Horse Trials.
Mr Clinton said: “We were delighted to find out that Kirkley Hall had been selected to host the competitions. We have some fantastic facilities here and it will be a great opportunity to showcase them.
“Together with the unaffiliated shows currently held here, the new events will form part of a regular show calendar. They will provide the opportunity for riders of all levels to compete and develop, as well as support youngsters and emerging talent which is central to the college’s mission.
“Events like these are great for networking and for the talents of the competitors to be recognised. They allow us to engage with and become a hub for the rural industries and provide a fantastic learning environment for our students who will be fully involved.”
The inaugural British Eventing One Day Event takes place on Sunday, June 9 and annually thereafter.
It will see riders and their horses compete in the three disciplines of dressage, show jumping and cross country. There will also be stalls and hospitality available.
The main sponsor of the One Day Event will be Close House, the owner of which is leading racehorse owner Graham Wylie.
The Affiliated Dressage event, which will take place on Saturday, June 29, and will run monthly thereafter, will see competitors compete on the new indoor riding surface, which is the same type of surface used at the London 2012 Olympics.
Kirkley Hall Equestrian Centre Manager John Tilley knows the importance of affiliated competitions.
He was selected for an Olympics training programme after several top placings in British Eventing competitions were recognised.
He said: “It’s great to be able to organise these new events – having been a competitor myself for many years I know from experience what competitors want from a good competition.
“I am really looking forward to providing top quality competitions here at Kirkley Hall.”
The campus offers a wide range of equine courses, from Level One up to HND level. Course information can be found at www.northumber land.ac.uk
More information about the competitions and how to enter them can be found online at www.britisheventing.co.uk and www.britishdressage.co.uk