How to get there: The showground at Sandringham, north-east of King's Lynn, Norfolk, can be reached from the B1440, north off the A148 King's Lynn to Fakenham road. Admission: pounds 5 adults, children under-14 and car parking free. Dressage starts today at 9am; tomorrow the cross-country marathon begins at 8.30am and on Sunday the cone driving at 9am.
The sport of horse driving trials is modern, but has become established in Britain and has developed worldwide since the first rules were formulated in 1969. Sandringham, on the royal estate, is one of 14 national trials, each a qualifying round for the National Championships in Windsor Great Park in September. Eleven classes from horse and pony teams to small ponies will be contested when the trials open today with dressage, a test of the driver's skill and horses' performance. Tomorrow the marathon provides the spectacle of cross-country driving over a series of hazards and an obstacle course. The trials are completed on Sunday with the cone driving and the need for precision work, often a tense exercise.