Bramham Horse Trials

Thursday 8th - Sunday 11th June 2017

This is one of our favourite shows, it's great fun providing the great British summer holds out...fingers crossed! Visit information or to book tickets. 

What is a Horse Trial?

Bramham Horse Trials is a 3-day event, but in traditional English style, is confusingly held over 4 days, not 3. Thursday and Friday are both Dressage days, Saturday is the Cross Country Phase and Sunday finishes with the Show Jumping phase. The scores from each phase are then combined together to give the overall score for the event.

Three-day eventing provides a comprehensive test of all round ability for horse and rider, and tests the partnership between the two. The sport was originally developed as a military event, drawing on the requirements for an Officer’s charger – steadiness on parade, the ability to cross the country at speed in battle and the fitness needed to carry on with duties the following day. Known as Concours Complet International, or CCI, the modern international three-day event is overseen by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI).

The sport has evolved from the original military requirements to the three modern-day disciplines that we see today –dressage, cross country and show jumping. In order to succeed, riders and their horses must be highly skilled in all three disciplines.

Bramham Horse Trials

Dressage, the first phase, is designed to show off the horse’s suppleness, rhythm and, most importantly, obedience and harmony with the rider. It is used to show that a horse that can later go on to complete a long, challenging cross country course, also has the training to be graceful and precise. It is amazing to watch such large animals floating along seemingly with no directions from their rider.

Cross Country, the most popular phase, requires extreme fitness and trust from both rider and horse. The course is built of 40 incredibly solid, natural fences, over around a 4 kilometer course. Fences include ditches, coffins, point fences and of course water complexes. Look out for the HiHo sponsored fence as well!!

Bramham Horse Trials
Bramham Horse Trials

The Show Jumping Phase is used to test the horse’s fitness and agility. The course is made of around 12 knock down, coloured fences at about 1m25 in height. Riders must jump every fence clear, within the time limit. The course is small compared to most show jumping competitions, but remember, each horse has had to take it’s rider around a 4 km course the previous day, so to do any of the jumps is an achievement in itself. Competitors jump in reverse order, leading to a tense atmosphere as the leading riders enter the ring to jump. 

What to wear

England being England, the weather is never a certain thing. Despite being in the middle of summer, Burghley weather can range from Heat Wave to Torrential Rain, sometimes within the weekend itself, so prepare for all eventualities! Lightweight clothes are a must though, whatever the weather. In heat waves, it will stop you from overheating, and if it decides to pour with rain, they can dry easily. There is nothing worse than having towalk a cross country course wearing wet jeans.

Wellies and a coat are also a good idea to have in the back of your car so that if it does decide to pour with rain, you can quickly change; even once it has stopped raining, the grass will be soaked and you may end up with the two-tone trouser effect.  Chuck a sunhat and suncream in the back of the car as well, so if the sun does appear, you can be prepared for it, and avoidlooking like a tomato.

 Footwear wise, stilettos are really not recommended. Even in incredibly dry weather, your heels will end up disappearing into the ground. Flat, comfortable shoes that are easy to walk in are a good idea for when it is dry. Blisters are your worst enemy, and they tend to prey on anyone who thinks they can “get away with it”. 

And last but not least, jewellery. It wouldn't be the same without some stunning Sterling Silver Jewellery to match your outfit, whatever the weather. We'd recommend our fabulous Equestrian Collection. Dress to suit the surroundings, without worrying about your jewellery tarnishing. So how about putting on your snaffle necklace and earrings, and rocking the Trials in style. If you don't have one, fear not, just pop by our Equestrian Collection and treat yourself. 

Bramham Horse Trials
Bramham Horse Trials

Our Hints and Tips

  • Other than clothes, in the back of your car, you might want to also have a waterproof backed picnic blanket or even a couple of lightweight canvas chairs if you don’t feel like walking too far, although of course just far enough to come and visit us! Both of these will stop you from needing to sit on the wet grass when your legs give out.
  • Don’t forget to drink plenty of liquids. It is a long day, and whether it is cold or hot, you will need to stay hydrated to avoid the paramedics having extra work. Unfortunately, alcohol doesn’t count…
  • If you have hay fever, or suffer from allergies, then don’t forget your antihistamines. It can turn into a very long day if you end up all stuffed up.
  • If you are coming on Saturday, arrive in plenty of time as there can be very long queues, or even better, stay in nearby Hotels or B&Bs on Friday night, avoiding the incredibly early morning. 

Where to stay

There are several really nice places to stay in the area. Our pick of the bunch is Monk Fryston Hall in York. Alternatively, you can visit to see the brilliant selection of accommodation available. Or if you want the more luxurious approach, take a peek at some of the top quality hotels available at

Bramham Horse Trials

Where is it?

Bramham Park is situated on the A1 Great North Road, approximately five miles south of Wetherby in West Yorkshire, 10 miles from Leeds and 15 miles from York. If you wish to use your SatNav, the postcode is LS23 6ND.