Preview: Stratford Hills Horse Trials

The Stratford Hills Horse Trials are a popular date in the Suffolk equestrian calendar

The Stratford Hills Horse Trials are a popular date in the Suffolk equestrian calendar - Credit: Archant

The Carriagehouse Insurance Stratford Hills Horse Trials, in its 15th season, will be held on June 17 and 18.

Riders will find an extended cross-country course the cost of which has, in part, been funded by a £3,000 grant from British Eventing.

One of the best qualified course designers in the country, David Carpenter, has introduced eight new fences. Some are in the shape of gun cartridges. Another is in the shape of a boat sponsored by Ark Underwriters. Carpenter has been course building for 20 years and course designing for the past nine years.

There will be around seven fences on two flat fields before the undulating terrain. This year there will be no fences in the woodland. Riders will travel anti-clockwise.

There will be the usual format of dressage, show jumping and cross-country. The show jumping designer is Sue Peasley.


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Among the riders will be Gemma Tattersall who was in the Great Britain team in the Rio Olympics. She will be riding in the novice classes.

Suffolk’s Mary Edmondson will be a name well known to regulars at Stratford Hills. A group of talented teenagers will be battling to win a place in the East team for the under-18 events at Frickley Park next month.

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Names to watch out for include Minnie Budenberg, James Foxon, Leilia Paske, Alice Hallows and Minnie Erith.

There will be interest in Ella Dettori, daughter of the Newmarket-based flat race jockey.

The BE80 and BE90 classes will have rosettes for double clear finishes. Tiggas Saddlery are sponsoring the BE80 prizes.

Gillie Cranfield is again the organiser of a popular event that raises funds for various charities including, for the first time, Marie Curie Essex and Suffolk Nurses’ Fund.

The event is held on land owned by Mr and Mrs Ivan Lockett.

There will be catering outlets, a licensed bar and trade stalls.

The cost of entry is £10 for a car regardless of the number of passengers. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a lead. Current holders of a British Eventing membership card or pass will have free entry for car and all passengers.

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