Sports Listings / Plan Ahead

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The final two international horse trials of the British season, at Blenheim in Oxfordshire and Burghley in Lincolnshire, take place over consecutive weekends in September.

The Blenheim Audi International Horse Trials suffered bad weather in its first two years and this year, its third, the event has been brought forward to the first weekend of September in the hope of better conditions. The feast of top flight three-day eventing continues the following weekend, 10 to 13 September, at the Burghley Remy Martin Horse Trials.

Both events have much to offer in sport and venue. At each, dressage takes place on the Thursday and Friday, the cross-country section on Saturday, finishing with show jumping on Sunday. All the riders have to work their way through each section in order to qualify for the next stage. This is a good pointer to picking out the up-and-coming riders and horses for the future as each section in three-day eventing is so testing.

The Blenheim event is held in the park at Blenheim Palace, home to the 11th Duke of Marlborough. The Palace was finished in 1722. Burghley is, with Badminton, the most senior horse trials in Britain. First held in 1961 and with a tougher course than Blenheim, the trials take place in the grounds of Burghley House, whose ornate structure has changed little since its completion in 1587.

Blenheim Audi International Horse Trials, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, 3-6 September.

Venue: Blenheim Palace on A34, seven miles north-west of Oxford (Tel: 0993 813255).

Admission: Thursday and Friday (dressage) pounds 5 per person, Saturday (cross-country) pounds 8, Sunday (show jumping) pounds 6. Four-day ticket pounds 24.

Burghley Remy Martin Horse Trials, Stamford, Lincolnshire, 10-13 September.

Venue: Burghley House, east of A1, 12 miles north-west of Peterborough (Tel: 0780 66868).

Admission by car (up to five adults): Thursday and Friday (dressage) pounds 10, Saturday (cross-country) pounds 20, Sunday (show jumping) pounds 10. Four-day ticket pounds 35. Grandstand seats: dressage pounds 5, show jumping pounds 8. Membership for two adults pounds 50. Members' caravan park pounds 45.