Sharon Chilcott talks to Harry Legge-Bourke about this summer's events at his Usk estate
A great line-up of sport and entertainment awaits visitors to the Glanusk International Horse Trials and Country Fair based around four days of exciting competition comprising dressage, show jumping and cross-country.
Glanusk Estate, set in the beautiful Usk Valley near Crickhowell, is one of the largest private estates in Wales and is home to the Legge-Bourke family. The International Horse Trials attracts world-class riders, the likes of Zara Phillips, Mary King and William Fox-Pitt, who have all been nominated to the British Olympic Association for Team GB.
Visitors will be able to watch riders expertly putting their horses
through their paces in the three eventing disciplines and can expect thrilling cross-country competitions on challenging courses laid out in the 400-acre parkland by renowned course designer Eric Winter. This year also sees a return of the International Mounted Games, with more than 90 competitors from 13 countries.
Harry Legge-Bourke said: This is the third year we have held an International Horse Trials and Country Fair and we try to make it a real family day out. The Lusitano Stallions display team will be coming for the first time as well as the War Horse stunt horse. There is far more family entertainment this year, as well as lots for those who love country sports and eventing. There is even an adventure play area for the toddlers as a father myself, I know when we are going out we look for places where there is something for everybody in the group.
Harry is keen to grow all aspects of the four-day event, and is delighted this year to welcome the CLA regional gun dog championships, the first stage in plans to expand the event, next year, into a full game fair. We also have the Welsh National Sheep Dog trials over the weekend, he added. The Country Fair will include dog agility displays, trade stands and fishing demonstrations on the river.
The event starts on Thursday July 5 with the dressage competitions. On Friday, as well as the continuation of the Junior and CCI Dressage, theres the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse competition and the start of the gun dog scurries. Saturday is the big day for show jumping, dressage and cross-country and in the demonstration arena, there are the graceful Lusitano Stallions, falconry, a dog show, gun dog demonstrations, archery and more. Eventing continues on Sunday, culminating in a prize-giving and crowd-pleasers include appearances by the stunt horses from War Horse and Merlin and a demonstration by the famous Quack Pack.
Later in the month, on July 14, Glanusk Estate is the venue for another family day out when the park plays host to international polo. This years charity event in aid of Help for Heroes will be a rematch of last years thrilling encounter where Wales drew 3-3 against a strong Ireland team. Harry, an enthusiastic polo player, is keen to extend the games appeal. I want to try to bring polo to the masses and make this a family occasion so this year people can bring their own picnic and be entertained, he said. The event is likely to be especially memorable, marking the fact that Wales now has its own official national polo squad, based at Glanusk, with Harry as chairman of the Welsh Polo Association and HRH Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales recently announced as its patron.
For more information about the Glanusk International Horse Trials and Country Fair visit: www.glanuskeventing.com
For further details about Glanusk International Polo visit: