I went to see what the Burnham Market International Horse Trials was all about on Saturday. I'd heard rumour that it's always cold at this event (winds blowing off the sea apparently), so went well wrapped up - thank goodness, it was very chilly. I had queried the 'international' bit with a friend who's high up in the horsey world, and she confirmed that indeed it is - top riders, including Olympic medal winners take part – and is very well regarded amongst those who wear jodhpurs, though you certainly don't have to be the horsey type to go. There are plenty of things to do to keep you and the family entertained - once you have walked the course (you really must), watched the show jumping and admired beautifully turned out rider and horse at the dressage - there are trade stands, a craft tent, a dog agility competition, plus a bouncy castle, climbing wall, and bungee trampolines for the children. All that fresh air and exercise will no doubt make you peckish. Worry not, a variety of stalls offer culinary delights to quell those hunger pangs and thirst – you can take along your own picnic of course.
My two dogs joined me ‘for the ride’. They were beside themselves with excitement at meeting loads of other dogs as we walked the cross country course and I stood in awe at the odd jump to watch each competitor’s ability, agility and bravery as they tackled some very demanding obstacles. Half way round we found some welcome shelter from the wind in a small copse, settled for a while on a fallen tree trunk brilliantly placed just ahead of a water jump, and had a wonderful view of each rider as they approached the jump, flew over (in most cases), landed in the water, then raced on to the next jump just yards away. My boy dog started to enthusiastically judge each rider’s attempt with a bark or two…… he got a bit over enthusiastic after a while. Time to move on.
It’s a great day out - make a date for next year. Or even this year, The Burnham Market Autumn Horse Trials are 14th -15th September.
Somewhere else that’s worth a look, while I’ve got your attention (hopefully)….. After the horse trials I made a quick trip to Bradfield’s in Heacham. This was my first visit and will certainly not be my last (though my bank balance may tell me differently) – a wonderful sort of mini emporium that’s a combination of a hardware store and interiors shop selling all manner of things from very practical to very stylish AND, on high days and holidays, they offer customers a free cup of tea or coffee together with a piece of a delicious homemade cake (made by Pamela Bradfield) to thank them for their custom. My timing could not have been better, and I couldn’t possibly say no.
By Annabel Roff, Zelda & Edward - 23/04/14