Skipton celebrating 25 years of top trials

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ORGANISERS of the second part of the Skipton Horse Trials are praying for sunshine this coming weekend.

Part one of the Skipton attraction took part in June with organisers forced to deal with an unexpected heavy downpour first thing on the Sunday morning.

However, the event was still considered a huge success with Kate Bower, responsible for marketing, sponsors and exhibitors, now looking forward to the event’s second instalment this Saturday and Sunday.

The trials are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year and Bower said: “The horse trials went amazingly well in June despite an unexpected heavy downpour first thing on Sunday.

“Feedback from June was generally fantastic and, despite some challenging weather, good ground prevailed, thankfully.

“Now we are getting ready for the next event and this time we have the KBIS four- and five-year-old qualifiers and the Mitsubishi Grassroots Championship BE90 Regional finals for Badminton.

“We are aiming to make the most of the 25-year anniversary.”

Among those competing will be Malton’s Katie Stephens-Grandy, who says the Skipton Horse Trials are one of her favourite events.

Stephens-Grandy will be competing on her seven-year-old gelding Hey Mr Sandman and said: “I brought him to compete at Skipton as it’s a beautiful track.

“The cross-country builds up throughout the course and really encourages forward positive riding and builds confidence of both horse and rider throughout.

“Yet it still asks questions and tests fitness.

“There is such a Yorkshire, friendly atmosphere at Skipton and this hasn’t changed since I first competed here in approximately 1995-1996 for the first time.

“The friendly atmosphere and confidence-building track was as evident then as it is now.”