The cross country course at 2015 Strzegom International Horse Trials

       Gillian Kyle (IRL) - Technical Delegate & Marcin Konarski (POL) - Course Designer


The biggest equestrian event in Poland, the Strzegom International Horse Trials is getting closer. Now in its thirteenth year the event will take place on the Hippodrome in Morwa near Strzegom form 24th-28th of June and features not only the FEI Nations Cup CICO3* but also a CIC1*, CIC2* and CIC1* Junior as well as a CCI1*, CCI2* and CCI3*

Currently 374 horses from 19 countries have been accepted with Poland and Germany topping the rider numbers. Michael Jung has five horses entered and other top riders heading to Poland include Karin Donckers, Andreas Dibowski, Izzy Taylor,  Sandra Auffarth, Tim Lips, Andrew Hoy and Chris Burton

Marcin Konarski, Event Director and cross country course designer, says that 2015 is a year of changes on the cross country course as well as a change in the main arena, which is no longer grass but a new all-weather surface

There are many new fences including a new water fence – the Poda Lake - but as always, the cross starts with a few warm up jumps to prepare the horse and rider to the coming questions; the STRZEGOM, VORNBROCK, The Brusch and Stargona fences. Next is a combination at 5AB-ROTANES consisting of two skinny fences on the arena which look like a bit like typical show jumping fences, but that been adapted to cross country requirements. 

Then there is a 6AB – a classic combination of a huge house and four strides on the left curve line to an equally massive corner. After that strong opening there’s a long canter to two big tables at Fence 7/8- BM HORSE I GILLMET. Fence no. 9, which this year is sponsored by LOWER SILESIA, is a huge ditch then it’s time for another test at Fence 10ABC, the DEVUCOUX COMPLEX which demands a highly precise approach and full concentration between the elements.

Then there’s time to have a bit of a rest before speeding up up on the way to the next combination – the well known Strzegom’s log on the ditch at Fence No. 10 - DOLNET and the full size FEEDING RACK before the most influential part of cross country begins. 

The combination ANR at Fence 13ABC consists of a massive oxer and two corners on the right curve, positioned to encourage a horse to run out to the left. Just before the first water fence there’s a full size PALACE ANR at Fence 14 and then the combination 15 AB BETGRAN/GRANITEX, composed of two skinnies on a one stride distance, but the landing after the second one is almost a 2 metre high drop to water.

Between the two water complexes there is a time to take a breath with two tables at Fence 16 BOGLER and 17 BORGA. Fence 18AB TRACKTEC is a combination which requires riding with a great deal of precision and excellent balance of the rider then Fence 19 TORPOL- the log on the hill is the entry for two enormous hedges on a skewed line at Fence 20A - JOHN DEER and 20B - MANITOU.

Fence 21 - SV SPORTMARKETING is another big ditch in the cross country course then it’s time for the completely new combination on the course at Fence 22 and 23AB- the PODA LAKE consisting of massive log with an almost 2 metre drop to a huge boat in the water. The course ends with a skinny on a 5-6 stride distance and from there it’s straight to the finish.

It sounds like it’s going to be a tough one!