Belton International – a great family day out
Work is progressing apace in the parkland surrounding Belton House, near Grantham. The National Trust property is the venue for one of the most prestigious early season fixtures in the Eventing calendar. This year’s Horse Trials taking place from Friday 13th – Sunday 15th April.
Now in its 38th year, the show really does have something for every member of the family to enjoy. Equestrian fans are, not surprisingly, spoilt for choice, with Retrained Racehorse performances, dressage demonstrations, an Inter-Hunt Relay, Pony Club Games and the ever-popular Gate Jumping class running alongside the Eventing.
The world’s elite event riders travel to Belton each year, drawn by the stunning location, well built and challenging cross country courses and, of course, the prospect of picking up some prize money across the different class levels. It is a perfect opportunity to collect an autograph or two from Olympic, World and European Championship medal winners once they have finished competing for the day. With the well-planned layout of the cross country courses, viewing is excellent from one central location where food and drink outlets are also situated.
For those who prefer smaller four-legged friends, the fun dog show, dog agility and dog display team demonstrations are popular. The South Notts hounds and Pakefield ferrets can be found in the InterActive Zone, along with Arts & Crafts opportunities such as willow weaving. Meanwhile, for the mechanically minded, the Classic Car Show offers an impressive array of vehicles to hanker after.
With over 100 trade stands selling everything from fashion to furniture, footwear to fudge, shopping is a big draw – it’s a good idea to arrive with an empty car boot, or perhaps with a boot laden down with a picnic that can then be refilled with new purchases after lunch!
For an extra special Belton, this year’s charity, Bransby Horses, is hosting a Cream Tea on the Friday, which includes the opportunity to walk the Grantham Cup cross country course with 2017 British team reserve Alex Bragg. Tickets are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Tickets and full details are available at www.belton-horse.co.uk.