Thousands of people piled into the grounds of Burghley House near Stamford today (Thursday, September 3) as the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials got underway.
And plenty more visitors are expected to pass through the area for the next three days as the top international equestrian event continues.
The dressage event began today and is due to continue tomorrow, followed by the popular cross country tomorrow and show jumping on Sunday. As well as being a draw for equestrian enthusiasts, the event proves popular with shoppers browsing the hundreds of trade stands.
Some of the world’s top riders will test their nerve around Burghley’s famously demanding cross country course on Saturday. This year will present an extra challenge as the course has been reversed, so those riders who have been competing at Burghley for years will be starting completely from scratch.
The competition then comes to a climax with show jumping on Sunday to determine who will carry home the Land Rover Perpetual Challenge Trophy and the substantial first prize money.
This year it will also be host to the Rugby World Cup Trophy as part of the World Cup Trophy Tour, which is currently visiting towns, villages, clubs and schools across the country.
And while Land Rover Burghley is renowned as a major sporting event, it is also recognised for its pop up shopping village. Each year more than 600 carefully selected exhibitors offer everything from artisan cheeses and local produce to luxury goods such as diamond jewellery, cutting-edge fashion and stunning safaris.
Drivers have been warned to plan their journeys around the event. The A1, which is the major access road, will be busier than normal during the weekend, with high numbers of travelling spectators. The A1 exit slip roads in either or both directions at Stamford (Carpenter’s Lodge) may need to close for safety if and when traffic flows reach a peak. The closures could happen at any time between 7am and midday, and 2pm and 8pm. They would be lifted as soon as traffic flows return to lower levels.
During the closures, northbound traffic wishing to exit the A1 at Stamford would be diverted via the A606 and A6121. Southbound traffic would be diverted via Barnack Drift and the B1443.
For more information about the event and to book your tickets today visit the horse trials website at www.burghley-horse.co.uk/ There will also be tickets available on the gate.