Isle hosts major equestrian event - a first for the area

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The Isle played host to a highlight in the equestrian calendar earlier this month - a first for the area.

During the first weekend in March, the British Eventing Horse Trials were held, an impressive two days of jumping.

The event took place at Epworth Equestrian in Scawcett Lane and followed a mere four months of preparation after the venue was given the go ahead to host.

Venue owners and event organisers Cheryl and John Gibbons said: “The hard work began and the nearer it got the weather seemed to be against us, however we carried on in the hope that it may change.

“We have exceptional ground here at Epworth Equestrian and fortunately it drains really well, however the amount of rain we had leading up to the event really did test us.

“Friday came and the site inspection from the British Eventing Officials was upon us. Everything passed and all the hard work had paid off.”

She continued: “It was a phenomenal weekend with three Olympic medallists present.”

Isle riders who competed were Nicola Wilson, who had several rides, and Karen Dixon on two rides. Gary Parsonage was the technical advisor for the event.

On the Saturday many professionals, amateurs and everyday riders took part in the 100 Open, 100, 90 Open and 90. Sunday saw the popular 90 and 80T competition.

Cheryl said: “On the Sunday, from about midday, the rain came again, but it did not deter the competitors from having their fun, we had smiles all round even to the last competitor.

“Thanks to Mark Watler our course designer and builder, building additional fences for the event to creating a fabulous course with all the extra dressing and trimmings.”

Gratitude was also given to all the ground team for the hard work of getting the ground to its best and setting everything up, assisting with the planning and organising of such a huge event, and to the hundreds of valuable volunteers, and to the sponsors.

For more information about Epworth Equestrian and events coming up visit the website https://www.epworthequestrian.co.uk/