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Countryside Live attracts record number of equine entries
1:21pm Monday 23rd September 2013 in News
A RECORD number of horses are set to compete at one of the final events in the rural show calendar.
Organisers of Countryside Live, billed as ‘the little sister of the Great Yorkshire Show’, said the event on October 19 and October 20, would see 335 horses battling for titles.
The Yorkshire Agricultural Society-run event at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate, will feature the North East Driving Trials for the first time, as well as the Northern Show Cross Final, in which riders’ speed and agility will be tested.
The trials have attracted entries from competitors of national standing, including Tara Wilkinson, a member of the gold medal-winning British team at the 2012 World Young Drivers Championship, and British National Novice Champion Stephanie Milner, of Huggate, near York.
Other equine competitions will include the ridden heavy horse class, which was introduced last year and sees traditional farm animals forging new careers as riding horses.
Britain's native ponies will be showcased in the Olympia Heritage Mountain and Moorland ridden qualifiers section and will provide the final opportunity to qualify for December’s Olympia.
Entries are still being taken for the Search for a Talented Show Jumper competition in which, in sessions over the two days, up and coming riders can learn from Olympic experts, Graham and Tina Fletcher.
The indoor arena will feature classes for best pony and rider combination, working hunter ponies, mountain and moorland lead rein and first ridden, coloured ridden horses and ponies, a coloured working hunter pony class and a children and ponies fancy dress competition.
Show director Bill Cowling said: “Since equine classes were introduced in 2008, the section has gone from strength to strength and it’s very much an integral part of the whole event.
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