Star riders in thrilling trials

Chatsworth Horse Trials cross country - Adele Allen (165) Opium Opposition from Nottinghamshire
Chatsworth Horse Trials cross country - Adele Allen (165) Opium Opposition from Nottinghamshire
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ROYAL Zara Phillips and other top riders will be at Chatsworth this weekend for its international horse trials.

More than 500 entries worldwide have been received for the popular event, a cross country course through spectacular parkland on the banks of the river Derwent which has been designed by former Olympic medallist Ian Stark.

Large crowds of spectators are expected to watch the action-packed trials, which culminate with the prestigious FEI World Cup TM Evening incorporating a show jumping finale on Sunday.

Other top riders lined up to take part include Olympic team gold and individual silver medallists such as leading equestrian William Fox-Pitt.

Aside from sport, many special attractions are on offer for all the family.

World-renowned horse whisperer Jean Francois Pignon is hosting magical performances each day, with Pony Club mounted games, Sue Carson dressage display, sheep dogs and birds of prey to keep young ones entertained.

Pilsley School maypole dancing, The Bakewell Silver Band, The Burbage Band, children’s Punch and Judy, face painting and a climbing wall plus many trade stalls are also included.

And the Duchess of Devonshire will judge a shop window display contest that has celebrating the trials in Bakewell and Baslow.

This year the event is to support Derwent Rural Counselling Service (DRCS), an independent charity and confidential counselling service in Bakewell.

It kicks off from 8am on Friday May 13, opening at the same time on Saturday and Sunday. For more information visit www.chatsworth.org.

Earlier this year the Derbyshire Times ran a contest giving away weekend passes to the horse trials.

The lucky winners heading to Chatsworth are Ivan Gilligan, from Dronfield, Victoria Wales, from Old Brampton and Mrs Kenahan from Temple Normanton.

•Are you going to the trials? Send your photographs to comment@derbyshiretimes.co.uk

ellen.beardmore@derbyshiretimes.co.uk.