Bicton Arena are to host a 5* British event in September following the cancellation of Badminton and Burghley due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. The horse trials will run from 2nd to 5th September 2021 and will be the only 5* competition taking place in Britain in 2021.
Bicton hosted a successful CCI4* competition in June which prompted the Bicton team to apply to the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) to run a replacement CCI5*L as a one-off. The June fixture included three classes that were previously scheduled for Bramham.
Bicton is the home of Lord and Lady Clinton and has Grade I listed parkland. The new cross country track for the 5* competition has been designed by international course-designer Captain Mark Phillips and will be built by Adrian Ditcham.
The 5* competition is sponsored by the Chedington Estate with a prize fund of €125,000. The event will be live-streamed by The Eventing Channel. Chedington Estate’s Dr Geoffrey Guy said “Chedington was pleased to be part of what will be a historic event. We have always felt that Bicton is a wonderful site that deserves to host a high level of international competition.”
Bicton Arena manager Andrew Fell has said “It should be a great morale boost after so much disappointment. Bicton is already blessed with loyal supporters, great facilities and a stunning setting and we are now full steam ahead with our aim of producing a competition truly worthy of CCI5* status.”
The Bicton team have said that they are thrilled to have been given the opportunity by the FEI to ensure Britain has a five-star competition.
Helen West, Chief Executive of British Eventing and advisor to Bicton Arena has described the five-star event as a “once in a lifetime opportunity for Bicton and the South West”. Following the success of the four-star event we put on earlier this year we know that we are ideally placed to make this a huge success. For me, this is a shining example of what can be achieved with a collaborative approach. This whole vision was fuelled by owners, riders and organisers alike who have worked tirelessly to get this off the ground. The recognition of this achievement comes at an important time for me as I step into my new British Eventing role. It is fantastic for the sport as a whole and I look forward to exciting times ahead.”
Spectator tickets will be available shortly.