2019 Bramham cross country course


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As the cross country phase of the Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials (6 – 9 June) approaches, check out what former Olympian Ian Stark has in store on his cross country test for the riders on Saturday, 8 June.

This year, Ian celebrates a decade in charge of designing at Bramham with David Evans bringing his vision to reality as builder with a cracking course which will provide a perfect test for the level – jump around here and you know you’ve got a world class horse. Around 180 of the world’s leading combinations will tackle the challenge set by Ian, himself a former Bramham winner, across three classes, the main event, the Equi-Trek CCI4*-L, the British Horse Feeds U25 CCI4-L and the Land Rover CCI4*-S.

The course starts as it has done for a few years now at the highest point of the park, above the stables. Fence one, the Farmstar Flower Bed, and a right handed run to the Generator Power Roll Top at two get the horses opened up before a downhill run to the first combination, Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream Cones and with its bright strawberry and mint choc chip colours a few horses will take a second look.

A good gallop to The Question at four features a hidden bending line so a balanced approach or a run out at the second element is likely. The galloping Land Rover Table fence at five leads to one of the toughest questions, the Equi-Trek Round House where a horse and riders boldness and communication skills are put to the test. A lovely gallop through the park only interrupted by the Nidd Steel Buildings Wood Pile at seven and brings riders over Lord Bingley’s Walk to the new Woodheads Seeds View fence (eight), sited after a climb means riders must take time to gather their horses for the correct canter on the approach.

A serene canter through the peace of the wood brings the new Powa Services Wooded Ditch to exit which should keep the horses confident ahead of getting their feet wet for the first time at ten, the SureGrow Kidney Ponds which comprises three elements.

Ian’s favourite jump, the Joules Leap of Faith should give a feel of flying going as the riders head back into the main park towards the young group of trees to jump ‘The Spinney’ where again accuracy is key.  The Harringtons Dog Kennels gives a short breather before the double of white gates, the Bramham Park Fences at 15 a and b, the second of which has a related downhill approach.

At 16, the BETA Either Or option leads the horses down into the front park and the narrow, airy Bedstead takes them to the main Womble Bond Dickinson Water at 17 where a large crowd will always gather in the hope of seeing a dunking.

Up to the Speedi-Beet Double Feat with a superb view of the house has a slightly changed line this year. From here, the horses will feel homeward bound but there’s no time to relax, the infamous Carter Jonas Sun and Moon takes you up the hill to the KBIS Log and a further last effort to climb towards the Land Rover Above and Beyond, the final accuracy test at 22 before the Finale seat is the welcome sight to bring riders and horses home after just over 10 minutes and 30 seconds of galloping and jumping.

View our full cross country gallery here