Useful Info

Public Car Park will be £15 per car and Official Programme £5. Pedestrians £5.

British Eventing Member’s Cars  will be free but £2 per Non Member passenger.

Post code for the Entrance to the Horse Trials is SP2 8PX

Grid reference for the Horse Trials site is SU 100 305


Location Map

Provisional Timetable for 2020

Saturday 25th July BE100, 100 Open , 100 Plus, 100 5 year old and Novice

Sunday 26th July. Intermediate , Open Intermediate, Novice, Open Novice and BE 100

Travel Information

Wilton Horse Trials Timetable

H&S ATV Disability Notice

Frequently Asked Questions

Some Useful Documents for 2020




What are Horse Trials

Welcome to the sport of Horse Trials. We hope that this guide will help you to understand the various aspects of the sport and increase your enjoyment.

The sport of Horse Trials is complex embracing as it does so many different disciplines, each with its own specific objective. Put these together to create an overall test of horsemanship – and it is little wonder that those not directly involved find it all a bit baffling!

The sport as we know it has come a long way since the days of “the Military” – a competition for army chargers. The perfect cavalry horse was expected to be relaxed and obedient on parade, to be responsive to his rider during battle, to be fit enough to travel across all types of terrain, sometimes at speed, and to be able to jump any obstacle in his path. After such strenuous activity horses had to be fit and ready to carry out further duties the following days. Soundness and courage were essential – and so it is in modem day Horse Trials.

Horse Trials offers you, the spectator, so much – the elegance of Dressage, the excitement of Cross- Country and the entertainment of Show Jumping.

Each Horse Trials is made up of three different tests: Dressage, Cross Country and Show Jumping, the scores from each test combining to produce an overall total – rather like a pentathlon in Athletics. In equestrian sport men and women compete on equal terms. As it is the horses that are graded, not the riders, you will often see well known riders competing to bring on their less experienced horses at Novice Events. Imagine going to a local cricket match and being able to watch Ian Botham or David Gower playing!

Dressage          image-1

Dressage, often described as ballet with horses, can be a mystery to people who spectate at Horse Trials. Perhaps the sport that compares closest is Ice -Skating’s Compulsory Figures. It is always the first phase in a Horse Trial and its purpose is to judge a horse’s ability to perform a number of set movements(a test) within a marked out arena. The letters round the arena indicate where movements should start and finish – accurate riding can often earn a rider those vital extra marks.

Each movement has a maximum score of 10. A competitor generally needs to be scoring a minimum of 6-7 out of 10 for each movement to have any chance of being amongst the leaders after the dressage phase. They are being judged on freedom and regularity of paces, willingness, accuracy, attention and obedience.

Show Jumpingfp-image

This phase of Horse Trials is designed to test the ability of horse and rider to jump coloured obstacles which, unlike cross-country fences, can be knocked down. A horse, which is trained to gallop across country jumping fixed obstacles, can be careless over light poles. The height of the fences is low in comparison to “pure” Show Jumping such as those held at Wembley or Hickstead because this phase of a Horse Trial is only part of an overall test.

At Horse Trials there are 4 penalties for knocking a fence down with 4 penalties for the first refusal and 8 for the second A third refusal incurs elimination.

Cross Countryimage-3

All Horse Trials ‘include a Cross Country test over a course of fixed obstacles ranging in height from 3’ (1 meter) – 3’9″ (1.15) and in number from 16 – 24 depending on the level. All courses normally include a variety of fences of varying severity including water and ditches and have to be completed clear and in an optimum time if penalties are not to be incurred. Horses and riders compete individually starting at 2 to 3 minute intervals. Fitness of both horse and rider is of paramount importance and the welfare of the horse is ensured by the attendance of qualified veterinary surgeons.

Most events run a range of classes to suit differing grades of horses. The Pre-Novice (BE100) is designed as a relaxed introduction to the Sport. Competent combinations of horse and rider can opt to start competing at Novice level – designed to encourage the less experienced. At Intermediate level, horse and rider really start to progress, jumping fences which are not just bigger but which ask more questions in terms of take off and landing demanding a bolder, more accurate approach.

2015 © Wilton Horse Trials
Photography by JP Event Photography Ltd
Wilton Horse Trials