This year’s Eventing Championships is being held at the stunning setting of Blair Castle. Here’s why you should go, and how to plan your trip
After a decade’s wait, the most prestigious eventing contest in Europe is to be held in the UK.
Taking place from 10-13 September, the Longines FEI European Eventing Championships is this year held at Blair Castle in the village of Blair Atholl, tucked away in the Scottish Highlands.
The event looks set to be one to remember with over 80 competitors from 16 nations anticipated to take part.
Adding to the excitement – and pressure for those competing – the championships are the last chance for Europeans to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The four-day extravaganza promises top-class international three-day eventing, as well as displays, attractions and demonstrations at the Bruadar Country Fair.
Fun for all
The show begins with an opening ceremony on Wednesday 9 September, with competition taking place from 10-13 September.
Competitors complete the dressage phase of the event on Thursday and Friday, tackle the hilly cross-country on the Saturday and battle it out for the title in the showjumping on the Sunday.
In between the eventing, visitors can enjoy numerous attractions at the Bruadar Country Fair, such as Musical Clydesdales, falconry, Parelli Natural Horsemanship, a Scottish stunt riding performance, Pony Club mounted games and a gundog display.
There’s also showjumping and showing titles up for grabs, including Highland Ponies and hunters.
If shopping is high on your agenda, the shopping village opens to the public on Thursday morning, and with more than 200 trade stands expected at the show, you can shop ‘til you drop.
Or why not treat your taste buds and visit the food hall, where you can sample a whole range of traditional Scottish produce?
On Sunday afternoon, to end the show, the worthy winners will be presented with their medals before the closing ceremony begins.
Book and save
Tickets purchased in advance come with a saving of 20%. Children under 12 get in for free. Tickets can be bought on the gate, but there may be limited availability, so advanced booking is advisable. Ticket prices start at £12 per person (for Thursday and Friday) plus £5 car parking, when booked in advance. Saturday costs £22, while Sunday is £17 per person (plus £5 car parking on either day). Grandstand tickets are from £12. Season ticket are also available from £58 (plus £14 car parking), as well as membership packages, which range from £25 to £118.
Where to stay
There are accommodation options for all preferences and budgets ranging from local B&Bs to hotels and self-catering cottages.
If you’re not adverse to the idea of camping and want quick daily access to the event, check out the campsite, which is just a five-minutes walk from the main entrance.
Campers can bring tens, caravans or horseboxes to sleep in. Or why not upgrade your camping experience and go ‘glamping’ in the Black Dog Tipis?
For more information visit: www.blair2015.com, tel: (10796) 481 543.
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