The Cheltonian > Articles

International Horse Trials & International Polo


As final preparations for the International Horse Trials and Polo continue, the energy emanating from Glanusk Estate is intense.

A simply unbeatable backdrop provides the setting for one of the most dazzling, well organised and appealing sporting events in the country. Starting with the International Horse Trials from June 30th across the weekend to Sunday July 3rd, no-one seems to be in any doubt about what exactly this means for Wales. World class equestrianism and a staggering programme of entertainment, brings spectators in their thousands and the best riders from all over the world to the Brecon Beacons National Park.

If that’s not enough to be getting on with, the Estate is also organising a Polo event the weekend after. Polo is never a dull sport but with the Wales v Ireland match on July 9th, you experience the World Playing Field – and with it quite an astonishing array of amusements. If the best horses, players and Polo you’ll ever see in the country isn’t enough, how about helicopter rides, Gourmet catering and an after party that boasts a Fun Fair and Ibiza DJs?

Host and organiser, Harry Legge-Bourke is about as excited as you can get. He is enormously passionate about opening his home to everyone who loves sport, the countryside, animals and breath-taking scenery. The chosen charity of Glanusk this year is The Noah’s Ark Appeal – the official charity of the Children’s Hospital for Wales – and it means so much to the family that Harry’s wife Iona has taken it upon herself to compete in the Eventing herself, to raise even more money, and this is after a break from riding of around 25 years. So while everyone else lucky enough to be invited to the Royal Wedding spent the run up deciding what to wear and getting their hair done, Iona was busy learning her dressage test and cramming in practice for the jumping. “Nervous…. and brave,” is how Harry describes her.

Home to the Junior UK Championships, Glanusk are bidding for the European equivalent in 2014 and Harry says he’s not stopping there: “We are bringing the top level riders to Wales and spectators will be able to enjoy an experience similar to Badminton. This is the only FEI one star event in the country and it would be the ultimate dream to eventually have a four star International Horse Trials here. Wales is a massively equestrian country and the sport is still growing.” He goes on to list the impressive number of attractions that will run alongside the competition: Shopping, Terrier Racing, Birds of Prey, Mounted Games, Children’s Adventure Playground and a fantastically situated public viewing area which is fully catered – and with a bar.

For horse lovers, it’s a no-brainer… but for pretty much everyone else - with a very warm welcome and an endless list of attractions in the phenomenal setting of the Black Mountains, it’s hard to think of a reason not to go.

Glanusk Estate located in Crickhowell, is easily accessible from Bristol, Hereford, Cheltenham and all other surrounding areas. The Eventing begins on June 30th and runs across the weekend until Sunday July 3rd, with the International Polo: Wales v Ireland on Saturday 9th July. For more information:


Box Office: 01873 810414