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Burghley Horse Trials - Coming Soon...

There are many crossovers within the Equestrian sporting world and at Racing Break, we want to bring you up to speed with two of Britain’s biggest events; Badminton and Burghley Horse Trials. Both of these are top class internationally renowned events that take place once a year attracting crowds from all over the country.



Burghley Horse Trials was due to take place in early September this year but unfortunately had to be cancelled like so many other events due to the ongoing pandemic. With all being well, next year Burghley will take place from Wednesday 1st - Sunday 5th September.  This is an annual ‘Three-day event’ which is now spread over five days; originally known as a three day event in eventing terms due to the three disciplines in which horse and rider are tested. The Burghley Horse Trials is classified by the FEI as one of the six leading three-day events in the world and is ranked at CCI*****(five star) level which is the top level. The prize for first place is £95,000 and prize money is handed down to 20th place. The backdrop of Burghley House is stunning and offers a fantastic day out for people of all ages. There is so much on offer to entertain you throughout the week or if you are just visiting for the day, then ensure you wear comfortable footwear as there is plenty of walking to ensure you see all there is on show.

The competition kicks off on Wednesday for the ‘First Horse Inspection’ of the horses competing, where each will trot up in front of the main house whilst Veterinary officials overlook. This is an opportunity to see how the horses move freely without any rider on their backs and also offers a chance to ensure every horse is fit and well to take part in the competition by checking any signs of lameness or injury. Dressage takes place over the course of two days on Thursday and Friday as there are too many competitors to get through all tests in one day. This phase tests the basic training of the horse, which helps the horse to develop an improved posture for carrying a rider and increases his obedience and calmness.



Each test is marked by a number of judges sat around the marked out arena and are looking for several key elements, Rhythm of Paces, Impulsion, Acceptance of the contact, Engagement, Lightness of the Forehand and Uniform Bend of the horses body on circles and lateral movements of the Shoulder-in and Half-Pass. The next and most testing phase is the Cross Country which takes place on Saturday. This is an extremely popular day with the crowds as thousands of people spread wide across the 4 mile course to take in the 27 jumps and obstacles each horse and rider will face. This is a test of speed, stamina, agility, and scope of the horse as well as a rider who also has to be good at time keeping. The course officials set an optimum time of around 11 minutes whereby anything slower or faster will mean receiving time penalties and a lesser overall score.


The final phase is Showjumping which takes place in the main arena however, if you are not within the main stand, there are a number of big screens dotted around to watch the action. This is where horse and rider take on a course of knock down pole jumps with various combinations; Doubles, Bounces, Oxers, Water Jumps etc, with twists and turns which challenge horse and rider to maintain good balance whilst getting over the fence without knocking a pole down. One fence down is equivalent to four faults (penalties), a second fence down is eight faults and so on. A horse is allowed to refuse a fence only once as the second refusal will mean elimination from the showjumping and whole competition.

As well as the fantastic equestrian sporting action, there are hundreds of trade stands offering everything from Food & Drink, Country clothing, Jewellery, Outdoor & Garden, Saddlery and much more.


Racing Breaks are putting together the ultimate packages for you to make the most of this event and enjoy something different to the usual Race days and fixtures. Enjoy your trip to Burghley Horse Trials with Racing Breaks taking care of everything you need from hotel accommodation, transfers, tickets and much more. Packages coming soon but if you wish to enquire now and notify us of your interest, please email info@racingbreaks.com and one of our agents will be in touch.