Excitement is mounting for the Land Rover Blair Castle International Horse Trials, with more than 45,000 people expected to journey to Perthshire for Scotland’s premier equestrian event.
Visitors will travel from across the globe to watch an estimated 1,800 horses compete in the extravaganza, which runs from Thursday until Sunday.
Set against the stunning backdrop of fairytale Blair Castle, attendees will be able to watch a number of events taking place during the four days, including the exciting cross country, Highland pony show, British Show Jumping and Pony Club mounted games.
One of the major highlights of the weekend will be watching international riders competing in the finale of the Event Rider Masters series.
World number one Oliver Townend has seven horses entered for the event while Piggy French has several including Quarrycrest Echo who has just been named in the squad for the World Equestrian Games. She’ll also be competing on Cooley Monsoon, owned by actress Jennifer Saunders, so there might be an opportunity for a bit of star spotting.
The unique Bruadar Country Fair will also be on site, featuring falconry displays, terrier racing, pig racing, a vintage and classic tractor cavalcade, the famous antics of the ducks and dogs in Quack Commandos and the excitement of the Horsepower Cossack stunt show.
The historic grounds will also host a pop-up shopping village foe the duration of the event, with more than 200 stalls catering for all tastes – horsey and non-horsey – with culinary delights, gorgeous home accessories, stylish country clothing and gifts just some of the things on offer.
Whisky lovers can book tickets to an exclusive tasting session with official drinks partner Bruadar, with all proceeds being donated to the chosen charity for this year’s International Horse Trials, My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.
Andrew Bruce Wooton, the general manager at Atholl Estates, said: “The Land Rover Blair Castle International Horse Trials always prove to be an incredible few days, with a wealth of local and international visitors coming together to cheer on talented equestrians.
“Blair Castle is the perfect setting for this prestigious event, with both the venue and the Horse Trials steeped in history.
“The perfect summer day out for families and individuals alike, we look forward to welcoming both participants and visitors to the Estate and would like to wish everyone taking part the best of luck.”
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s director of events, added: “The event is a key fixture in our annual calendar of events, helping drive Scotland’s visitor economy by attracting equestrian fans from across the world to our shores.
“With Blair Castle providing the perfect stage for Scotland’s biggest equestrian event, the packed programme of events and activities alongside the trials makes for a great day out.”
Tickets are available online and start at £12. They can also be bought on the day. www.blairhorsetrails.co.uk.