EQUESTRIANS LOOKED no further than Yorkshire for their fix of competitive action this weekend as this year’s Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials drew to a dramatic conclusion.
Local winners, York-born Holly Woodhead, 21, in the under 25s CCI competition, and Northallerton’s Nicola Wilson in the CIC section - the latter’s first ever victory at Bramham - brought enormous cheers from spectators who turned out in droves regardless of the mixed weather conditions.
The drizzle that greeted the final day of the annual fixture today failed to dampen the spirits as Bramham returned this year without Zara Phillips - so often a star attraction - among the line up. There was little evidence of either the weather or the absent Royal affecting the event however, with around 57,000 people expected to have taken in the action and 700 horses delight the crowds over four days.
Fans had come to see three international eventing competitions, among other classes, and Nick Pritchard, the event’s director, said they were not disappointed by the spectacle that unfolded.
“Every year the team here surpasses themselves. The event gets bigger and better every year, the layout and the facilities improve every year and this year has been no different - it’s had a very special feel to it,” Mr Pritchard said.
“The standard of the riders has risen up another notch and we’ve had comments about it being one of the best equestrian events in Europe.”
The second day of the trials gave the crowds a day out in the sun and saw bumper ice cream sales. But the sun hats seen on Friday were replaced by umbrellas and welllies today as the rain clouds rolled in, lending a brooding backdrop to the action with last-day winner Holly Woodhead giving those looking on plenty to shout about.