CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Withington Manor Horse Trials

PUBLISHED: 14:19 30 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:52 20 February 2013

Close to the action

Close to the action

From Sat 2nd-Sun 3rd May the Cotswolds will host one of the most demanding one-day events: Novice/Intermediate/Advanced horse trials & Pony Championship

Withington Manor Horse Trials is regarded as one of the most demanding one-day events in the country.

Ranging from Pony Championship, through Novice and Intermediate to Advanced levels of competition, Withington offers great attention to detail, innovation in design and organisation, and the highest fence building standards.

Eventing involves three tests of both horse and rider and is often described as an 'equestrian triathlon'. Competitors are tested over three phases including dressage, cross country and show jumping.

Over many years, Withington Horse Trials has proudly showcased and tested many of the finest UK riders and horses including Zara Phillips, Mark King, Harry Meade, Dag Albert, Kristina Cook, Andrew Nicholson and Louise Lockwood.


Horse Trials are an all-round test of both horse and rider demanding fitness, discipline and courage. A top event horse and rider must excel in all three phases and not just be a specialist in one. Men and women compete on equal terms, and as it is the horse that is graded and not the rider


This is the first phase of any horse trial and its purpose is to judge a horse's ability to perform a number of set movements within a marked out arena. The letters around the arena indicate where movements should start and finish. The judges look for a calm, obedient, elegant and accurate test where the partnership is harmonious with the horse responding easily and willingly to its rider.

Show Jumping

This phase tests the ability of horse and rider to jump coloured obstacles, which unlike those in the cross-country phase, can be knocked down. Its purpose is to demonstrate the horse's fitness, obedience and jumping accuracy. There is a time element involved but only if the time allowed is exceeded.

Cross Country

This is considered the most exciting element of the competition. The team must complete a variety of obstacles designed to test their fitness, technique, adaptability, courage, endurance and all-round ability.

Today, courses are technical with combination fences, such as the water jump which has numerous elements requiring multiple jumps to be completed in close succession. Some of these fences offer the rider a choice of possible routes through the obstacle.

The quickest route is usually the most difficult and the simpler option allows a less experienced horse and rider to negotiate the obstacle with less risk but utilising more time.

And the Winner is...

Horse Trials are actually scored in penalties; the competitor with the lowest score wins. In dressage, the penalty score is arrived at by adding up all the good marks awarded, subtracting them from the maximum possible and reducing the result by the application of a coefficient. In both show jumping and cross-country, penalties are incurred for exceeding the optimum time or for acquiring jumping penalties.

Visit our competitions page for details of a fantastic reader offer:


More from Out & about

Fri, 12:03

The Cotswolds are abundant with picture perfect locations ideal for a ramble. Gather loved ones, wrap up warm and blow away the cobwebs with one of these winter walks in the region

Read more
Mon, 13:15

Tracy Spiers takes an impressive, if hypothetical, budget on a shopping spree in Cheltenham’s independent stores

Read more
Mon, 12:23

Get out and enjoy seasonal celebrations with a Cotswold twist

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Hundreds of participating National Lottery-funded visitor attractions across the UK are saying ‘thanks’ to people who have raised money for good causes by buying a lottery ticket, including a number of venues in the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, December 3, 2018

“We’re looking forward to lots of festive fun this Christmas festival and hope to welcome lots of people to our town.”

Read more
Monday, November 26, 2018

“Faringdon upholds old-fashioned values through its traditional shops, personal service and shop owners who go the extra mile to make their customers feel at home.”

Read more
Friday, November 23, 2018

Home to some of the country’s most breathtaking architecture and picturesque gardens, the Cotswolds boasts plenty of beautiful stately homes you need to visit. We pick eight special locations that are made even more magical during Christmas time

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Taking the classroom outdoors is fun, inspires fresh ideas, broadens horizons – and encourages a new generation to enjoy and care for the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, November 19, 2018

Chipping Campden – once the meeting place for a council of Saxon kings – now offers the warmest of welcomes to all its visitors, from the humble shopper to the seasonal shin-kicker

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Warwickshire town of Alcester is considered one of the best understood Roman settlements in the country. Tracy Spiers digs below the surface to discover its hidden jewels

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search