Bramham horse trials promises lighter environmental hoofprint

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Gemma Tattersall and Chilli Knight at Bramham in 2018. © Mike Bain

Organisers of this weekend’s Bramham International Horse Trials have introduced several new initiatives as part of their commitment to lessening the environmental impact of the event.

For starters, this year’s tickets are digital, meaning spectators can simply take a screenshot and show the bar code on their phones. The programme for the West Yorkshire event is also all-digital, with no print copies produced. Organisers urge spectators to ensure their devices are fully charged.

The wristbands for competitors and officials are made of bamboo, and are biodegradable. The Bramham team is also working with its food outlets, including new partner Fordhall Farm, to achieve zero landfill from packaging.

There will be no single-use plastic water bottles sold on site, with the venue opting for cans. But there are plenty of filling stations around the site, so visitors can bring their own water bottles.

Event Director Nicholas Pritchard said it was a “huge delight to see the event taking shape after two years of almost nothing happening in the park”.

“We’re just about ready to welcome everyone to Bramham for what we hope to be one of the biggest and best shows ever. The weather has been kind this spring and everything is looking spectacular – we just can’t wait for our ‘Bumper Bramham’.”

Running over four days from June 9 to 12, Bramham is the largest equestrian fixture in the north. A short and long format CCI4* is scheduled, along with a CCI4* long format for under 25 riders. More than 180 combinations, including Olympic medalists and world champions, are entered.

The Tokyo Olympic gold medal trio of Laura Collett, Tom McEwen and local lad Oliver Townend, will be there, as will reigning World Champion Ros Canter, and Piggy French, who’ll be deputising for local rider Nicola Wilson on Cooparks Serco, as Wilson starts her rehabilitation from her Badminton fall. Past Bramham title winners Zara Phillips, Gemma Tattersall and William Fox-Pitt, who’s won six times, all feature for the home side, as does local rider James Somerville.

As usual, the entry list has an international flavour with riders from Ireland, China, USA, Canada, Japan, Sweden, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Italy and a sizeable French contingent.

Also taking place over the weekend is the NAF Five Star BE80 championships, with more than 50 of Britain’s most ambitious amateurs fighting it out. The event is new to Bramham and the champion will be crowned on Thursday, June 9, after the show jumping and cross-country phases.

As well as eventing, there are also British Showjumping classes that have received bumper entries. Big names include Paul Barker, Robert Murphy, James Smyth, Conor McMahon, Rachel Proudley, Ria Ginley, James Whitaker and Joanne Whitaker, and a few eventing names are also in the mix.

The Sunday of the event features the Arena Eventing classes with more than 100 entries over the 90cm and 100cm tracks as well as the Pony Club Mounted Games.

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