Top 5 Must See Equestrian Events
We are lucky to have such an active, prolific equestrian calendar here in the UK, but what are the key events that ever horse lover should experience at least once in their lifetime? Here is our selection of five key events from the international equestrian calendar:
1. The Hickstead Derby. The British Jumping Derby, held at the home of British show jumping, is perhaps the biggest highlight of the jumping calendar. The course itself is a draw, offering riders a demanding yet creative challenge full of drama and spectacle.
2. The Grand National. Love it or loath it, there is no denying that the Grand National is the most popular and valuable steeplechases in Europe, and a national event. Watched by 500 million people in over 100 countries, the atmosphere at Aintree cannot help but be electric.
3. The Kentucky Derby. While the UK has some of the world’s greatest equestrian events, the draw of the Kentucky Derby is huge. Known as “the most exciting two minutes in sport”, the Kentucky Derby is the most iconic horse race in the US, and is full to the brim with idiosyncratic traditions such as the ceremonial mint julep drink and the blanket of roses awarded to the winner.
4. Badminton Horse Trials. One of the most important eventing competitions in the world, and a key (CCI) Four Star **** event, Badminton really is something to be experienced. It consistently draws the biggest crowds of any equestrian event in the world, totalling over 250,000 paid spectators each year.
5. The Olympics. London 2012 really was a once in a lifetime experience, allowing so many of us see Great Britain’s riders champion on home turf. Any Olympic equestrian event is sure to be breath taking, however, so if you missed out on London, there is always Rio.