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Quality Field For Blair Castle International Horse Trials
Blair Atholl, Scotland
Photo: Anthony Trollope/RedBayStock.com

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The Blair Castle International Horse Trials has attracted a total entry of 176 for the three day event from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, Sweden and Italy.

The horse trials which incorporates a spectacular country fair takes place from Thursday 24th to Sunday 27th August 2006 in the scenic grounds of Blair Castle, Blair Atholl. Owned and run by Atholl Estates, the event has a major economic impact on Highland Perthshire, with aroung 40,000 visitors expected this year.

The traditional one star class always attracts a huge number of competitors from far and wide, many who are attempting their first big international one day event. This year is no exception with 84 horses entered.

One of the most local riders is Laura Grieve from nearby Aberfeldy. Laura has been round the course before but rides a new horse this year, Just Morse. Slightly further travelled is Lorenzo Riva and his horse Ladoux Song d'Ete who hail from Italy. There is also a large contingent of 10 Irish riders taking on the one star class.

Event director, Sarah Phillips is delighted with the entry of 64 for the new Dunalastair Hotel two star class which has been introduced this year as a trial run for next year when Blair Castle is hosting the European Young Rider Championships.

She said, "We are looking forward to an action-packed weekend with over 170 runners and riders for the three-day event not to mention the 600 or so horses taking part in other activities such as showjumping and showing."

Among the two star riders are New Zealander Kirsty Williamson, Aussie, Bill Levett and two Swedes, Anna Lidar and Therese Wahlberg. They will be up against Stirlingshire rider, Sarra Mayberry who was a member of last year's gold medal winning British team at the EYRC.

Sarra has her top horse, Tommy Pink, which competed at Badminton in the spring entered in the three star class which has attracted 28 runners. Previous winner at Blair, Lucy Wiegersma is hoping to repeat her success of 2004 with Beckli in this class, while one of the local challengers is Rose Macpherson of Crieff riding her mother's Golden Needle.

The action kicks off on Thursday and Friday with dressage, while Saturday is exciting cross country day and Sunday is the showjumping finale. However there are lots of other equestrian activities on offer over the weekend including hunter, Highland Pony and native pony shows, pony club games and showjumping.

The Bruadar Country Fair taking place on Saturday and Sunday has demonstrations and entertainment for old and young alike including the spectacular antics of the Rockin' Horse Stunt Team, while over 200 trade stands offer wonderful shopping opportunities.

Find out more about the Blair Castle International Horse Trials and Country Fair from www.blairhorsetrials.com


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