Blair Castle Horse Trails
Our favourite top class equestrian eventing trial in Scotland, is held over the bank holiday weekend at the end of August each year. We have attended this annually for the last fifteen years. We give our advice and travel tips on how to make the most of this wonderful weekend.
What is on offer? Blair Castle International Horse Trials and Country Fair attracts over 40,000 visitors. Many attend every day for the four days of the equestrian eventing competition which attracts the world's top riders who compete in dressage, jumping, cross country (more details below).
Others attend purely because of the 200 stand fair and the horse show with the fun of pony club competing.
It is great for families, couples and dogs. If you have a well behaved dog it is welcome too.
The pony clubs an fun and lots of audience participation to what is a serious event for the top riders. If you are not part of the equestrian eventing world we are sure you will enjoy the pony club activities.
4 days - If you want to attend ever day, there is certainly plenty going on that is different each day to make this a very good choice. Our advice would be to book early and make full use of the discounted package options. The savings you can make are significant. Buy your car parking in advance too.
1 day options
- Thursday and Friday are ideal days to see the 200 stand fair, ahead of the weekend crowds. These two days have the least expensive entry and parking fees. Purchase on line in advance gives you the best deal.
- Saturday is the most popular choice for a single day visit. There are two reasons for this:- You will be able to watch the world's elite equestrian riders taking on the challenges of the cross country course. Many spectators take their packed lunch with chairs and sit by one of the jumps. It is a good option to move to different jumps throughout the day, to see how the horse and riders take on each challenge. The water jump is always the most popular, so get there early if you want that prime position.
The second reason it is historically the busiest day of the event is because it is the best day for all those who work to attend. Traffic queues can be cause delays, our advice is travel very early to get here well before they form or better still book yourself some where to stay. Purchase your tickets and parking well in advance on line gives you the best deal.
- Sunday is the day when you can pick up a bargain from the 200 stand fair. There is plenty of activity in the various arenas to enjoy too.
Words of advice-
- Book early taking advantage of the early deals.
- Early deals do sell out - so book as soon as you know you are going.
- Closest accommodation fills up quickly, so again do not leave this to the last minute.
- Remember to look for accommodation not just in Pitlochry but also the surrounding towns of Dunkeld, Aberfeldy, Kenmore, Struan, Tummel and Rannoch.
Equestrian eventing was originally developed as a military event. It drew on the three requirements for an Officer's charger -
- Steadiness on parade,
- The ability to cross the country at speed in battle
- Fitness needed to carry on with duties the following day.
The sport has evolved from the original military requirements to the three modern-day disciplines that we see today - dressage, cross country and show jumping. Known as Concours Complet International, or CCI, the modern international three-day event is overseen by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), riders and their horses must be highly skilled in all three disciplines.
For the non-horsey members of the family
The Country Fair takes place on Saturday and Sunday, it is great for the non-horsey members of the family. Two days of showcasing a wide range of countryside sports. Displays in the Bruadar Country Fair Arena in recent years have encompassed everything from traditional countryside sports such as falconry and gun dog training to the more modern activity of quad bike stunt riding!
Over 200 trade stands offer something for all tastes and all budgets. Bespoke jewellery, fine art, country and casual clothing, everything you could possibly want for horses or hounds, horseboxes, 4x4s... the list is endless. Equestrian shoppers too will be in their element, with tack, clothing, horseboxes, jumps, feed and bedding all on offer. For more details www.BlairHorseTrials.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org
A large food hall has plenty to tempt the tastebuds, including handmade chocolates, organic meat, fine wines,
Large food hall
The large food hall is very popular – handmade chocolates, organic and rare breed meats, pastries and baked goods, fine wines, cheeses and more.… delicious!
Admission - Adults require a standard admission ticket to gain entry to the event - they can be purchased in advance, saving you up to 20%, or on the gate. Children 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult, so don't need a ticket to the Blair Castle International Horse Trials and Country Fair.