The Festival Blog
Tim's Festival Blog - Day 1
It is always exciting when the first day of The Festival actually arrives and this year is no exception, after having had 2 inches of rain earlier this week we were starting to get twitchy, luckily the rain stopped and the ground has held up amazingly well. In fact the going is perfect for the horses. It was hard work to keep the grass on the site as the trade stands and infrastructure began to arrive but it was all worth it and the site looks spectacular.
The new water complex is looking great it has changed the balance on the Avening banks for the riders. It has been really good to be able to revisit the cross country course and ring the changes giving the riders the opportunity for a new challenge.
The highlight this year has to be the introduction of the new Event Riders Masters (ERM) which runs alongside the British Open culminating on Sunday. The ERM adds value to the sport both in terms of media coverage and money in the riders’ pockets. Here at The Festival we have run the cross country in reverse order for some time and have always found this makes for a dramatic conclusion, the ERM’s’ kiss and cry’ podium will only add to the thrilling climax.
5 Things I recommend you see and do while here at The Festival:
1) Take some snaps in our photo booth in support of Team GB, get in the Rio party spirit and don’t forget to tag us in. #betteratGatcombe #GAT16
2) Visit the new cross country Water Complex at Avening banks
3) Make a trip to the start on Sunday where you can watch the dramatic ‘Kiss and Cry’ podium finish for the ERM
4) Seek out the best the bespoke shopping has to offer
5) Sample the specialist food producers in The Festival Food Walk, there really is a huge range of freshly produced artisan foods on offer.
Tim’s message for Equestrian Team GB ahead of the 1st Vets inspection today in Rio:
“We are here celebrating the sport of eventing and are thinking of you – do us proud!”
Tim’s June blog
With just over a month until The Festival of British Eventing, 5-7 August, preparations for the event are really firing up. We are working hard with the Event Rider Masters (ERM) team as this year we are incorporating the fourth leg of this much talked about series into our British Open Championship. This week on the agenda we have been working with the ERM team to decide where to put the Kiss and Cry Podium, this is where riders will finish their cross country and move onto the podium until another rider knocks them off the top spot.
We have received so many trade stand applications and we are now almost full and we have been spending time allocating which avenue they will be in. Our keen shoppers will not be disappointed with the quality and variety of trade stands on offer this year. We are also working with our generous sponsors ensuring that they have all their branding, adverts, commentary notes and on event activity are ready to roll.
The Festival Press Office is busy organising the media briefing which takes place at Gatcombe Park in mid July. It gives the media a chance to have a preview of Captain Mark Phillips’ cross country courses and find out more about new attractions and developments this year.
On site we are finalising the new route for the horse walk, this year we decided to change the route to ensure that people, horses and vehicles can get where they need to be without causing any congestion. Gatcombe Park itself is beginning to look much more like a cross country course; this year we have a new water complex by the Avening Banks, it’s looking great and I can’t wait to see it in action.
As we head into the summer everything is coming together well and I am really pleased with the way The Festival site is looking, it will be a fantastic event!
Make sure you follow us on our social media channels for all the latest news and event information. There are also opportunities to win goodies in association with our wonderful family of sponsors – so keep your eyes peeled!
Twitter @GatcombeHorse #GAT16
Facebook: Festival of British Eventing
Instagram: @Gatcombe_Horse #GAT16
I will catch up again soon,
Tim Henson our Director keeps us updated on the build-up to The Festival of British Eventing
It has been an interesting few weeks for me, fitting in The Festival planning and with my other hat on at Henson Franklyn we have been incredibly busy involved in the HMQ90 at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. It was an incredible experience and the whole team felt privileged to be a part of something very special.
Back here at The Festival I am focussing on the planning side of the event, the timetable has been confirmed and I am pleased to say that we are bringing back our Advanced class and I am sure you have already heard that our British Eventing Open Championship class will feature the Event Rider Masters. It was a successful start for the new initiative at the Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials (14-15 May) and we can’t wait to be involved and host the fourth leg in August. It was interesting to see an all French podium for the first leg so it is sure to bring a real international feel to Gatcombe Park.
Ticket sales are coming in through our online ticketing office, this year if you get your tickets early you will be automatically put in our prize draw to win tickets to the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (1-4 September) and The Festival 2017 so it’s worth booking your tickets now!
As for me as Director I am doing much of the back office work at the moment including planning budgets, drawing up site plans for trade stands, signing contracts and wet weather maps - all very glamorous! Captain Mark Phillips has been busy getting ideas together for the cross country course this year which will include the new water feature on Avening Banks.
Main attractions have been booked for this year, the Devils Horsemen Cossacks along with Dressage to Music and the popular Shetland Pony Grand National. During The Festival of British Eventing there will also be opportunity to keep up to date on Team GB whilst they compete on the world stage at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with live broadcasting on the screen wherever possible.
It’s time to get back to my planning but make sure you keep an eye on our social media channels to keep up to date with Festival news and competitions.