Britain’s Barbury Horse Trials Loses International Fixture Until 2025

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z at Barbury. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Several months after the announcement that Barbury Castle would no longer appear on the 2023 British Eventing calendar, as the result of a now-revised rule limiting unaffiliated competition at affiliated venues, further news has been released that the popular Wiltshire event will not appear for 2024 or 2025, as previously hoped.

Instead, the 4* and 3* fixture previously held at the Barbury Estate from 2005 until last season, will be relocated to Northamptonshire’s Aston le Walls for the next two years, as it was this year. This decision comes after a tender process that each venue was invited to participate in.

“British Eventing have not given any reasons of this decision and have advised there is no right of appeal to the decision made by the Fixtures Panel, although this is being challenged,” writes Barbury organiser Musketeer Events in a statement on social media.
‘This is extremely disappointing for a number of reasons,” continues Event Director Alec Lochore. “Barbury Castle is an iconic venue for the sport of eventing into which significant investment has been made over the past 4 years since we took the event over; and where more investment was planned. This follows the last minute alteration by BE of their International event venue requirements, only a couple of weeks after removing the Barbury Castle fixture from the 2023 calendar, which would have meant that Barbury Castle would have been compliant with the British Eventing requirements in 2023. It feels like we are being persecuted by BE. This is an extraordinary decision; one that is a great loss for BE Members and eventing enthusiasts alike.”
“Musketeer Event Management would like to thank Barbury Castle Estate and the many riders, owners, sponsors, volunteers and officials who have expressed their sadness that yet another fabulous eventing venue was withdrawn in 2023 and who had expressed their strong desire that the fixture would return in 2024 and beyond. We are delighted to say that the venue will still host the extremely popular Cotswold Cup series in 2024, so competitors will be able to compete at this most iconic of British Equestrian sporting venues.”
‘This is sad news indeed for the Estate,” says Barbury Castle Estate owner Chris Woodhouse. “We love hosting the International along with Alec, Jenny and the Musketeer team. What makes it more difficult to compute is that it is hard to see how this decision can benefit the sport of Eventing: to replace a world renowned, high quality, popular and individual competition venue with an already well exposed generic venue seems to do nothing for horse, rider, owner or spectator experience; or for the good of the sport. We hope that BE will be willing to reconsider their decision in an open and transparent forum.”

5 1 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments