Bicton concludes with a bumper international entry

PUBLISHED: 12:33 16 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:34 16 October 2018

William Fox-Pitt in action at Bicton International Arena. Picture DAWE WILMOT

William Fox-Pitt in action at Bicton International Arena. Picture DAWE WILMOT

With the 2018 eventing season drawing to its conclusion, Bicton Arena will be in celebratory mood next weekend with its four-day international competition, writes Lucy Johnson.

A packed programme kicks off on Thursday (October 18) with the prestigious BE100 three-day competition, which has attracted competitors from across the length and breadth of the country.

More than 70 riders and horses will be in action in this class, vying for prizes sponsored by Goodbye Flies and AJ Boutique.

Feature class of the competition is the CIC2*, sponsored by Rathbones, with recent World Equestrian Championships team gold medalist Tom McEwen among those in action. One hundred competitors will tackle organiser and course builder Helen West’s cross-country courses, the most the class has ever attracted since it was first introduced in 2015.

Helen [West] says: “We’re over the moon with the entries and together with our other classes, which include the CIC* with nearly 150 entries, we’re expecting four fabulous days of equine competition. We have some fantastic sponsors on board with Cavanna Homes sponsoring the CCI*, Empire Coach Builders the CIC*, plus invaluable support from many others including Equine H, Cheffings Equine, Skinners, Woof Wear, John Bevan, Leonard Coombe, English Country Cottages, Wyvern to name a few.

“It’s a great way for us to conclude our season here at Bicton before things become quieter for the winter with all-weather arena-based competition the focus.”

The competition has attracted some significant names from the world of eventing, including former British Olympian Jeanette Brakewell, Marcelo Tosi, who represented Brazil at WEG, William Fox-Pitt and Harry Meade, while top fashion model Edie Campbell, who models for companies like Burberry, Vogue and Lois Vuitton, will also be in action in the CIC2* on Fireball F.

Organisers have also added plenty of special touches, including buckets filled with goodies for riders in CIC, CCI and BE100 three-day classes, trophies for winners of the International classes and flowers to all winners.

Hatherleigh-based Padraig McCarthy, who won silver at WEG on Mr Chunky and who has several rides throughout the competition, will join Tom McEwan for a question and answer session on Friday evening, starting at 7.30pm in the marquee.

On Saturday, there’s a party, with live music from Riviera Dogs and tickets just £10 each, including a hog roast.

An array of tradestands will be on site for visitors to browse, dogs are welcome if kept on a lead and there’s food and drink available throughout the competition. Entry is £10 per car.

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