Blair Castle International Horse Trials
Scotland’s most prestigious equestrian event, the Land Rover Blair Castle International Horse Trials
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Blair Castle International Horse Trials & the Highlights of Scotland tour includes some amazing highlights with first-rate sightseeing, showcasing the best of Scotland’s scenery, historical castles and not to forget wonderful Scottish hospitality.
The Blair Castle Horse Trials are held annually in the grounds near the village of Blair Atholl in Perthshire, Scotland. It is the ancestral home of the Clan Murray and was historically the seat of the Duke of Atholl.
Blair ran its first three-day event in 1989, beginning with a National (CCN) two-star, then adding an International (CCI) two-star in 1991. Blair is now the only event in Britain to run Intro classes right up to CCI4* events concurrently and has hosted the European Championships numerous times.
The event attracts a high calibre of international and top British riders. This year includes Tokyo Olympic Gold medallist Oliver Townend, Tom McEwen and reserve Ros Canter. Many other Top riders compete here or have competed here and some include Nicola Wilson, Ian Stark, and William Fox-Pitt to name a few. Australians and New Zealanders who have competed here are Tim and Jonelle Price, Christopher Burton, Andrew Hoy, Andrew Nicholson, and Lucinda Fredericks to name a few. Top International French rider Astier Nicolas was the CCI1*4 winner in 2019.
In addition to the three-day eventing competitions, Blair Castle also plays host to British Showjumping and showing classes, including the heavy breeds, the native highland pony classes, hunter classes, and mounted pony club games.
The event is very popular with the crowds as the country fair runs alongside the equestrian activities on both Saturday and Sunday. Featuring displays of both traditional and more modern countryside pursuits, the fair also includes gin and whiskey tasting. I am sure you will be entertained by the bagpipes with a sea of kilts and enjoy some traditional Scottish country dancing.
The trade stands that surround the dressage and jumping arenas provide a huge array of eating, drinking, and retail opportunities. If you love to shop you won’t be disappointed as Blair is renowned for its shopping, usually with over 220 trade stands, including a large food hall, offering something for everyone from jewellery, country and classic clothing, fudge to Gin that will suit all tastes and budgets. Joules the Official Clothing Supplier for the event can provide you with a souvenir T-shirt to take home.
Blair is Scotland’s only four-star three-day event, and over the years many Australian & New Zealanders have competed here and have been previous winners in the various classes as mentioned below –
CCI*** Tim Price on Mrs There Miller, Jo Preston-Hunt, Philip Hunt & Miss Kate Maitland’s Pats Jester
CIC***ERM Chris Burton on The Graf Liberty Syndicate’s Graf Liberty
CCI* James Avery (NZL) on Mrs Lizzie Edwards’ Seaflower
CIC*** ERM Shane Rose on his own Virgil
CCI** Shane Rose on Mrs Kim Mercer & Mr Rodney Bennett’s Gurtera Cher
CCI* Jonelle Price on Mrs Tanya Buckingham – Lloyd’s Obos Impressive
CCI*** Tim Price (NZL) on The Wesko Syndicates’ Wesko
CIC*** Lucinda Fredericks (AUS) on her own and Mr R Ames’ Flying Finish
CCI** Lizzie Brown (NZL) her’s & Miss T Grant’s Henton Attorney General
CCI** Andrew Hoy (AUS) on Mrs C Classen’s Cheeky Calimbo
CCI*** Andrew Nicholson (NZL) on 2012 In Mind Syndicate’s Calico Joe
CCI*A Andrew Nicholson (NZL) on Mrs R Barlow’s Qwanza
CCI*B Andrew Hoy (AUS) on his own Cheeky Calimbo
CCI* Neil Spratt (NZL) on Catherine Witt’s Solo Voyage
CCI** Lucinda Fredericks (AUS) on Mr S Kean’s Tina’s Gold
CCN* Lucinda Fredericks (AUS) on Miss G McGrath’s Daliance
CCI** Blyth Tait (NZL) on his own Tempo
Snaffle Travel has visited this amazing horse event and can help you with your travel plans and create an amazing itinerary to Scotland and the Blair Castle International Horse Trials. Scotland has some of the finest Scottish scenery with intriguing landscapes, plenty of history, tartans, whisky, castles, and wonderful Scottish hospitality.
A must to include is Edinburgh and its historical Castle, The Edinburgh Tattoo which normally coincides with the horse trials, Kelpies near Falkirk, Scone Palace, Blair Castle International Horse Trials, Whiskey tastings and so much more.
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Photo & information courtesy of Blair International Horse Trials