The Showjumping championships are in full swing after preparation of building three arenas and 1,800 stables, the gates are now open to the public, welcoming them to watch over 1,500 riders compete over the week.
The show, being held at Oswestry Showground, will see the finals of the Scope Festival senior and junior championships as well as the Internationals.
Charlie Barlow, organiser of the event said: “The first day was very good, everyone was having fun and setting up. It’s running smoothly and we are ready and set for the week ahead. We have had a lot of interest from locals and I am very excited going forward to see what the rest of the week brings.
“The site is fantastic and everyone has welcomed it being close proximity of amenities. The team at the showground have been amazing welcoming us. The arena is one of the largest in Europe, it is 65 by 40 metres wide. Not many people have seen anything quite like it.
“We’ve built 1,800 stables and there are over 1,500 people competing over the week. The show is the largest in Europe – we will be seeing people aged six or seven to top professionals from the Internationals.”
Charlie went on to explain how the championships are important to the whole of the family and that they will not take holidays. That much hard work goes into the preparation of the competition that the show itself is their holiday.
Sian Hinkins, from Welshpool has been riding for 55 years and has been competing in the show for 15 years.
“It’s lovely to be competing so close to home, it’s a complete treat. My horse, Jonny, is 19 years old but he’s doing well. I’ve competed all over Europe but I am nervous especially now because it’s local, so people I know will be watching.”
Annabele Windsor, 27 from Knockin Heath has been riding for most of her life and has been showjumping for three years. She has qualified with the title of Horse of the Year and will be competing throughout the week.
She said: “It’s wonderful to have the championships on our doorstep here in Oswestry, it does add to the pressure but I am not at all nervous.”
As well as the showjumping there is a indoor arena with locally-sourced produce, trade stands and VIP hospitality.
Parking costs £5 and admission is free.
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