We love our horses here in the British Isles, and this is never more obvious than when you look at the number of horse shows and other horse events that take place here every year. Horse owners and riders will take every opportunity possible to show off their animals, and we couldn’t be happier for it!
We also understand that you may wish to take part, either as a competitor with your horse or as a spectator. This is why we have supplied information on everything you need to know about major horse events taking place soon in the UK, as well as explanations on the sport of eventing, equestrian vaulting, and other horse-based sports some may not yet be familiar with.
British Horse Events Taking Place in 2021 and Beyond
Below, we have provided a table of the equestrian events taking place in the UK this year and early into 2022. You may only be able to sign up for or attend certain types of event at certain times of year. For example, the British eventing season runs from March to October, and this sport will not be found at any other time.
The major British horse events that you may expect to take place include:
|Event Name||Date||Sport Type||Location of Event|
(Not open to the public in 2021)
|16 ‒ 19 March||National Hunt Racing||Cheltenham, Gloucestershire|
|Grand National Meeting|
(Not open to the public in 2021)
|8 ‒ April||National Hunt Racing||Liverpool|
|1,000 and 2,000 Guineas|
(Not open to the public in 2021)
|1 ‒ 2 May||Flat Racing||Newmarket, Suffolk|
|Badminton Horse Trials|
(Cancelled for 2021)
|5 ‒ 9 May||Eventing||Badminton House, Gloucestershire|
|Chatsworth Horse Trials |
(Cancelled for 2021)
|14 ‒ 16 May||Eventing||Chatsworth House, Derbyshire|
|Houghton International Horse Trials||27 ‒ 30 May||Eventing||Houghton Hall, Norfolk|
|The Derby Meeting (Epsom)||4 ‒ 5 June||Flat Racing||Epsom, Surrey|
|Bicton International Horse Trials|
(Replacing cancelled Bramham Horse Trials)
|10 ‒ 13 June||Eventing||Bicton Arena, Devon|
|Royal Ascot||16 ‒ 20 June||Flat Racing||Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire|
|Hickstead Derby Meeting |
(Cancelled for 2021. National showjumping show is to take place instead)
|24 ‒ 27 June||Showjumping||Hickstead, West Sussex|
|Winter Dressage Championships||28 June ‒ 2 July||Dressage||Hartpury, Gloucestershire|
|Royal Windsor Horse Show||1 ‒ 4 July||Showing, Showjumping, Dressage, Endurance, Driving||Windsor, Berkshire|
|Bolesworth International||7 ‒ 11 July||Showjumping||Chester, Cheshire|
|Barbury Horse Trials||8 ‒ 11 July||Eventing||Barbury Castle Estate, Wiltshire|
|Royal International Horse Show||21 ‒ 25 July||Showing, Showjumping||Hickstead, West Sussex|
|Festival of Hunting||21 July||Hound Show||East of England Showground, Peterborough|
|British Showjumping National Championships||3 ‒ 10 August||Showjumping||Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire|
|Festival of British Eventing (Cancelled for 2021)||6 ‒ 8 August||Eventing||Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire|
|Global Champions Tour of London||13 ‒ 15 August||Showjumping||Royal Hospital Chelsea, London|
|National Driving Championships||13 ‒ 15 August||Carriage Driving||Ashfields, Essex|
|Burghley Horse Trials (Cancelled for 2021)||1 ‒ 5 September||Eventing||Stamford, Lincolnshire|
|Blenheim Horse Trials||16 ‒ 19 September||Eventing||Woodstock, Oxfordshire|
|National Dressage Championships||16 ‒ 19 September||Dressage||Somerford Park, Cheshire|
|National Endurance Championships||24 ‒ 27 September||Endurance||Builth Wells, Wales|
|HOYS (Horse of the Year Show)||6 ‒ 10 October||Dressage, Showjumping, Showing||Birmingham NEC|
|British Vaulting Championships||9 ‒ 10 October||Vaulting||Beverley, Yorkshire|
|London International Horse Show||16 ‒ 20 December||Dressage, Showjumping, Showing||ExCeL, London|
|King George VI Chase||26 December||National Hunt Racing (Steeplechase)||Kempton Park, Surrey|
|Liverpool International Horse Show||31 December 2021 ‒ 3 January 2022||Showjumping, Dressage||Liverpool|
Common Types of Horse Events Shown in the UK
There are many different types of events that you may attend and apply to have your horse compete in across the UK. For those who are unfamiliar with them but would like to learn more about each so they can start taking part regularly as spectators, we have provided some information on each here:
In this horse riding sport, three or four riders will compete as members of one team on a cross-country course. The aim is to make it around the course as quickly as possible, with the fastest team being named the winners.
A highly competitive sport which is even competed at Olympic level, a rider and horse must work together to perform a series of steps around a marked area. The type of movement required will depend on the level being performed, and will increase in difficulty from introductory all the way up to Grand Prix level.
Dressage is pre-written in the order it is to be performed. The event is marked out of ten by a judge who watches and grades each individual performance.
Also known as carriage driving or combined driving, this sport involves a driver sitting on a vehicle pulled by a single horse, a pair, or a team of four. The sport is then split into three phases: Dressage, Marathon, and Obstacle Driving.
In the Dressage event, a series of movements will need to be performed in a given amount of space. Circles, turns, and transitions must be executed during the performance, and marks will be awarded for smoothness, accuracy, impulsion, elegance, and overall control.
In the Marathon event, the fitness, stamina, control, and pace of the horse will be tested. There will be a variety of obstacles during this event, including bridges and natural obstacles such as streams and uneven ground. These are designed to test the control of the horses in the harness and the driver’s judgement of pace and fitness level.
In the Obstacle event, cones will be positioned around the area to mark out a course of turns the driver will have to steer through. These cones will be topped by small balls, which will fall and mark out if the cone has been knocked or touched, resulting in penalties.
This horse-riding event involves a horse and rider covering a set distance as quickly as possible without overstress. Distances for these events will vary between 25 miles (40km) and 100 miles (160km). Veterinary checkpoints must also be negotiated in these events, so the rider must have map reading and navigational skills.
Horse eventing is a three phase competition, in which event riders and their horses will need to perform in dressage, showjumping, and cross-country. The horse and rider team will be able to gain points for good results, and may progress through different levels of horse eventing competitions over time.
The most common and well-known horse sport, racing is a horse riding event in which riders race their horses on the flat or over fences over a set distance. Some races will require the horse to be ridden, while others will require them to pull sulkies (two-wheeled vehicles).
Western Riding Competitions
There are many kinds of Western Riding competitions, but each tests the agility of the horses, as well as the skill, balance, and movements of the riders. Common events held at these competitions include barrel racing (a fast race around barrels) and the working cow horse competition, in which the horse and rider must manoeuvre a cow around the arena.
In this world-famous sport, teams of four riders compete to score goals on a pitch, using a long mallet to strike the ball.
These are games carried out on horseback, and can be done as an individual against others or carried out as part of a team. There are many different games available to play in these competitions, ranging from “Bang-a-Balloon” and “Bottle Exchange” to Jousting and the Association Race.
In this horse riding event, a course of eight to twelve show jumps must be ridden in an enclosed area, with the set objective being for the rider to clear them within the optimum time. Once riders have cleared the jumps, they will qualify for the “jump off”, a timed event in which a shortened course is ridden at speed. The quickest to clear will be the winner.
In these events, horse owners will be offered the opportunity to show off their horses and exhibit them without having to demonstrate their skills in any of the Olympic disciplines. Classes will be divided into ridden and in-hand sections, with many different classes for both horses and ponies.
Many clubs will also hold riding club classes, in which a horse or a pony must perform a short solo performance (called a “show”) and jump a fence that varies in height from 2 feet to 3 feet, 3 inches.
Most shows will also include show jumping and have working hunter sections.
This event involves the rider performing gymnastic exercises on the back of a horse that is on the lunge. It is widely believed to have its origins in circuses, but has been recorded as being performed for at least two thousand years.
Beginners to this event will compete with their horses in walk, while more experienced and top-level riders will compete in canter.
Supplying Your Horse with Exceptional Products
Whether you intend to compete in an equestrian event or simply take part as a spectator, we know that you love your animals and want to keep them as happy, healthy, and as comfortable as possible. This may mean making sure they have a beautiful new stable block to rest in, a durable and dry hay barn to keep their feed fresh, or any number of supplies to ensure you are giving them the care and attention they need.
Speak with Us Today
When you contact us, we will be more than happy to discuss giving your horse the home, supplies, or space for the food that they deserve. We have provided bespoke stable and storage solutions for many horse owners across the UK, and we are more than certain that we can craft a stable block or barn that will suit your own animal companion’s needs as well as your specifications.
Our phone number can be found at the top of this page, and there is a contact form available if you need a little bit more room to explain what you would like. We will be ready and waiting to answer any questions, or to help you place an order that will soon see your horses living in their ideal space.