Best of British on show at Bramham

Olympic Eventing  hopeful Nicola Wilson from Morton on Swale near Northallerton with her horse   Opposition Buzz.
Olympic Eventing hopeful Nicola Wilson from Morton on Swale near Northallerton with her horse Opposition Buzz.
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When you first arrive here, admire the magnificent backdrop – our Queen isn’t the only British icon celebrating 60 years in the public eye in 2012. The house at Bramham opened its doors to the public in 1952 and has never looked back since.

Make William Fox-Pitt one of your must-see riders. He’s Britain’s most successful rider, one of our best hopes for an Olympic medal and his family tree boasts a former prime minister (William Pitt the Younger). While we were celebrating the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, he was winning his first champion’s rosette at a local Pony Club gymkhana which started his illustrious career. He has five horses to ride, so you should catch him in action.

In Britain we’re renowned for our love of farm-reared meat, beef in particular so why not pay the Food Hall a visit and head to Farmhouse Direct for the best quality rare breed meat or to Nova Scotia Farm Produce for meat presented the “Internationally Yorkshire” way.

There’s no drink which sums up summer in Britain better than Pimms. Buy a glass or a pitcher, find a spot on the bank and take in the action in one of the two competition arenas. If you’re more partial to Britain’s best loved drink, why not buy a member’s pass and take afternoon tea in the Members’ enclosure?

The horse to watch out for is Nicola Wilson’s ride, Opposition Buzz – or Dodi to his friends. Owned by Rosemary Search, he’s British through and through – born and bred in Yorkshire in fact. He’s the stalwart of the British team and Bramham is his chance to secure a ticket to London. The highlight will be his cross country round which is due to be on Sunday in the CIC3*.

On Saturday, don’t miss the British Army’s Parachute Regiment display team in a spectacular exhibition – the kind of thing we British do the best – in the skies above Bramham. They’ll be flying in at about 11am.

One of Britain’s leading youth organisations is the Pony Club – at least half the riders competing this weekend will have started out learning their equestrian skills through the Pony Club. Catch the stars of the future in action on Saturday in the Country Store Pony Club Team Jumping and on Sunday it gets fast and furious as local teams take part in the Great Yorkshire Show Pony Club Mounted Games.

The great British countryside is second to none and there’s no better excuse for a stroll than to walk round Ian Stark’s imaginative cross-country course which has been expertly built by David Evans and Richard Taylor.

A giant hedgehog, an enormous pair of wellies and giant ice cream cones all feature.

You’ll have a chance to get up close to a member of the Royal Family as Zara Phillips will be competing in the CIC3*. Riding High Kingdom, she’ll be hoping for a great result to break her Olympic jinx and secure a spot for London.

Shopping, we all love it – well, almost all of us anyway.

From Scottish cashmere to finest English leather, to beautiful pearls and garden furniture fit for a queen, coats for dogs, horses and humans and the present you’ve been looking for for ages – our 137 varied trade stands have it all.

Remember Friday, June 8, is late-night shopping, there’s free entry after 4pm and shops open until 8pm.

Who needs the high street when for one week a year you can shop ‘til you drop in the great British countryside?

The Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials begin on Thursday, June 7.