A true showcase of sport at Gatcombe Park
By David Wood
Where: Gatcombe Park, near Stroud, GL6 9AT
When: Friday, August 2, to Sunday, August 4
This weekend sees the Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing take place at Gatcombe Park.
Competitors of the highest calibre will be competing for five British Championship titles: The Magic Millions British Open CCI4*-S, the Smith & Williamson British Intermediate Championship, the Dodson & Horrell British Novice Championship, the TopSpec Challenge for The Corinthian Cup and for the second year running The Festival will host the RoR/NTF Retrained Racehorse Event Championship.
With so many Championship titles on offer The Festival is a true showcase of the sport.
The famously demanding cross country course takes centre stage over the weekend and the Magic Millions British Open sees competitors run in reverse order of merit making for an exciting climax as the leader sets out last to try and win the coveted title.
The Park Bowl is one of the best places to watch the action as it climaxes at the end of the course - you will not want to miss a moment of the excitement.
The main arena hosts the showjumping phase of the competition and then transforms into the centre of family entertainment with a whole host of displays and competitions.
Family favourites include the greatly anticipated Shetland Pony Grand National, the Pony Club Mounted Games and falconry display which always thrill the crowds.
On Saturday the Pony Club will be celebrating its 90th birthday with an ambitious global gathering at Gatcombe, the home of its patron HRH The Princess Royal.
Membership to the exclusive Hamptons International Garden Club with its great dining options allows you ringside seating throughout the weekend.
Dodson & Horrell Arena Eventing at both 90cm and 100cm in the Harrington Arena allows young riders and enthusiastic amateurs the chance to compete alongside their idols on the Sunday.
Also, in this arena the popular Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse Series showcases the event horses of the future.
To keep canine members of the family happy there is also 'Have a Go' Dog Agility and a fun dog show.
Beyond the main arena The Festival Food Walk offers foods from around the world as well as local treats for you to enjoy. The avenues of quality shops and unique and bespoke gifts in the Rural Craft Marquee means there is ample opportunity for some retail therapy during your visit.
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