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Date: 5th October 2018

Askham Bryan College’s annual British Eventing (BE) fixture is the perfect opportunity for riders who want to step up a level this year, according to Olympic course builder Adrian Ditcham who has overseen the design and build of the cross-country course.

Jessica Lord, Saskia Brookes, Laura Berry, Charlie Wells and Elle Walker learning more about course design from Adrian Ditcham

The fixture, on Saturday and Sunday (6 and 7 October) has attracted more than 500 entries from across the country, including students on the equine courses at the College.

One-day eventing covers the disciplines of dressage, cross country and showjumping.

The York land-based college has hosted a BE event since 2010 and the seven classes over the weekend range from BE80T to Open Novice.

The cross-country course has been designed by BE Technical Adviser Adrian Ditcham who designs and builds courses across the UK and abroad and project managed and built the course at the London 2012 Olympics.

A former Intermediate level eventer, Adrian is also a Technical Sector Steward at Badminton Horse Trials and has built courses for Burghley Horse Trials.

The College has worked with Adrian since the event began and he oversees the cross country design every year.

The direction of the course has been reversed for 2018, while making use of existing features from last year to include steps, the sunken road and water, with options at the technical questions. In addition there are some new fences in the 80cm and 90cm classes.

Adrian said: “The course is pretty straightforward in all classes and at this stage of the season it offers a great opportunity for anyone who wants to move up a level, including to Novice.”

Around 150 students from a range of courses at Askham Bryan have been involved in the run-up, from preparing jumps and removing stock fencing on the course, to providing flower arrangements for the arenas.

During the event they will assist the dressage judges, work as an arena party for the showjumping section and help with horsebox and car parking.

Among those competing is 18-year-old Charlie Wells, a second year Level 3 Equine Management student, riding her Welsh Section D mare Newgrove Lass in the Novice. Charlie, from Wakefield, competes regularly, achieving a double clear at Frickley Park in September, and is hoping to do the same at Askham Bryan.

Charlie is aiming for a career as an event groom and said: “This is great preparation in both riding and helping with the organisation as it means I get a real insight into what is required.”

Jess Lord, of Huby near York, is on the same course as Charlie and, while not riding in the event, has played a full role in the run-up, helping to prepare fences for both the cross country and showjumping phases.

She aims to become a coach and professional rider and believes the experience of organising an event will be invaluable.

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Askham Bryan College,
Askham Bryan,
YO23 3FR
01904 772277