Belton Replacement Announced
New venue awarded 2020 international fixture
British Eventing is delighted to announce that Thoresby Park in Nottinghamshire has been awarded the week five international fixture from 2020, following the loss of Belton International.
The final part of the fixtures process saw four selected venues present to a Stakeholder Panel yesterday (Wednesday 26 June) and the organising team of BEDE Events allocated the fixture.
The Stakeholder Panel was made up of the following:
“The key focus has been to ensure the sport selected the best possible venue to deliver such an important early season International. All of the final four applicants could have delivered this, but we are delighted to award this fixture to Thoresby Park and the BEDE team.
“It was a very difficult decision and we fully appreciate that Bicton, Weston Park and Frickley Park will be disappointed. As a sport we, and our members, are incredibly lucky to have such fabulous venues that host affiliated competition and I’d like to thank all the organisers who applied for this fixture.”
Helen Eshelby, Outdoor Events Manager at Thoresby Park, commented; “Thoresby Park are thrilled to have been chosen as the new home for the spring two, three and four star event. We look forward to welcoming the international riders in April 2020 and working with Stuart, Anna and the BEDE Events team on the horse trials for many years to come.”
Stuart Buntine, Director of BEDE, commented; “We are thrilled to have ‘Belton’ back and look forward to taking it to further heights at Thoresby. We thank British Eventing for their confidence in the BEDE team and are well into planning mode for this great new venue.”
About the process
Following the announcement in April that the National Trust at Belton Park would no longer be hosting a horse trial, all organisers were invited to express their interest in hosting the replacement fixture. Seven venues applied for the fixture and from those, four venues were selected for a site visit by a Venue Assessment Panel, made up of Yogi Breisner, Paul Graham and Bruce Haskell. The four organisers were then invited to present to the Stakeholder Panel, who made the final decision.
Some of the key considerations which led to Thoresby Park being awarded the fixture were:
Malcolm Wharton – Independent Chairman
Malcolm has spent 39 years in the Land Based and Sports Education industry, and 22 years as principal at Hartpury College. He was instrumental in the development of the equestrian academy and facilities at Hartpury, including the introduction of the successful International event that runs annually in August. Malcolm has been a Director of the RFU since 2013.
Paul represents the Event Riders Association. An Australian International Event Rider, Paul has been based in the UK since 1999 and competed at every level of the sport all across Great Britain and Europe. He won Badminton Horse Trials in 2010 on Inonothing and went on to represent Australia at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, USA.
Jan is the Chairman of the British Event Organisers Association, Organiser of Goring Heath Horse Trials in Oxfordshire, a BE Steward, FEI Steward and FEI Ground Jury Level 2.
Mark is on the Board of the Event Horse Owners Association. Along with competing up to 3* level, Mark is a BE Accredited Coach and Under 18 Coach for the South East and currently sits on the BE Sport Committee.
Senior Eventing Selector, former 5* competitor and coach, Sarah represents the Senior Performance Team.
Update on the Strategic Fixtures Process Review
The review of the Strategic Fixtures Process is ongoing and the next meeting of the Review panel is 1st July. More information will be released about the Review, and any outcomes in due course.