Getting up close to the world’s leading riders and their magnificent horses as they gallop around the cross country course winding through the stunning Chatsworth parkland is just one of draws at the Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials (11-13 May 2018).
Have-a-go fun dog agility and displays; a fun dog show open to all; pony club games; the popular Rescue Bears and a hilarious Sheep Show ensure there is something for all the family to enjoy at this year’s event. Around the Chatsworth parkland, the programme is packed with demos, shows, have-a-go activities and children’s entertainment on both Saturday (12) and Sunday (13) along with a quality food and shopping offer.
In the Arena British scurry and driving trials see ponies and their drivers tackle an obstacle course which is made from cones, barriers, flags, arches and ramps all against the clock. It’s loads of fun with miniature ponies taking on large cob ponies and single ponies pitted against multiple teams.
On Sunday, the popular Pony Club mounted games will see teams taking part in a competition which requires courage, determination and all-round riding ability. Young riders will also battle it out taking their ponies over the show jumps in the Pony Club show jumping competition.
Don’t miss the chance to have a bear hug with this very special group of canine lifesavers, the Newfoundland Rescue Bear Dogs. Originally bred as a water rescue dog, these gentle giants weigh in at 90kg and can to glide through the water with minimal effort. History is full of amazing stories about Newfoundlands who have saved the lives of people drowning.
Dog owners can put their canine friend to the test with the Autarky fun have-a-go dog agility. Your dog will love flying over jumps, racing through tunnels, up and over A-frames, and negotiating in and out of weave poles in this fun agility activity. Or enter your pet pooch into one of the Autarky Show Classes: Most Handsome Dog, Prettiest Bitch, Best Rescue, Best Veteran, Best Child Handler 7–12 years and Best in Show can all be signed up for on the day.
The Paws For Thought team, run by ex-police dog handler Stuart Brace, demonstrate entertaining tricks and games that can be done with dogs showing that real fun can be had training a dog, whatever the breed. For more insight into canine behaviour, the Mullinscote Gun Dog Display Team will give a fun show employing various training methods, human and dog psychology, featuring dogs of varying breeds and ages from a puppy to fully trained dogs.
The Sheep Show, featuring some real woolly characters, has captured the hearts and attention of many. New Zealander Richard Savory and his presenters Stuart and Warren entertain and educate with their fantastic sheep. Nobby, the Norfolk Horn, stands centre stage while others are introduced to their podiums, all to their own theme tunes. Learn about each breed’s attributes and how wool from the sheep’s back becomes a jumper to wear. The shearing demonstration will have the audience captivated. However, the highlight will be the ‘Sheep Show Hustle’ or dancing sheep!
For an insight into working animals, The Yorkshire Countryman will demonstrate how he trains his spaniels and birds of prey to work together, along with the chance to see his popular ferrets, known for their inquisitive nature and playful behaviour.
From face painting and pottery painting to a giant bouncy castle, there is something for all children and those young at heart. Learn how to juggle balls and clubs, diablos and devil sticks, master olympic ribbons and cups and balls. Walk on cups or fun stilts and pedal-go’s, spin a plate or a rope or hula hoop.
The drop in pottery painting offers lots of fun ways to get creative – draw, paint, stamp or sponge a piece of pottery to create a special piece to take home.
Sam Horrell, CEO at Dodson & Horrell, commented: “The setting at Chatsworth provides a wonderful backdrop to host an array of fun attractions for all the family. We are looking forward to an exciting weekend of competition and experiencing the unique atmosphere with competitors and spectators alike.”
Gail Dale, Chatsworth, said: “The Horse Trials are a wonderful family day out offering something for everyone. We’ve got loads going on all weekend alongside the equestrian sport, whether it’s browsing the shopping village and fine food walk or taking a picnic to enjoy by the river.”
Day tickets on the gate for Saturday and Sunday are £20 for adults and £5 for children aged 5-14. Children under the age of five are free. All tickets include free parking. Discounted tickets are available to buy online up until 6 May.
For more information, visit www.chatsworth.org/horse-trials