and why are they such fun?!
Picture this – 20 fences – mostly of solid timber cross country types, with brush, logs, palisades, oxers and skinnies, all colourfully presented with xmas trees and flowers and sitting alongside 6 or so show jumps and all to be ridden between 325-375mpm to achieve an optimum time. Remembering the course, directing your horse and keeping to the right pace all the while riding forward and going clear is the essence of Timber Trialling – what could be easier!
It’s all staged all indoors. You do not need to be a Member of any club or governing body or, have much previous experience. To enter though, you do need to be 11 or over, with a horse of minimum height 12.2hh, be wearing an approved Body Protector and Helmet and dressed in tidy clothes which may be your cross country colours. If you have been winning regularly in recent times (more than 3 wins at a similar competition such as Arena Eventing) or your horse is really too qualified to be in the class you are entering, you will be asked to go up a level or run HC in the class you wish but non-competitively. A full list of the rules are set out below.
Priced at only £15 per class to make it both affordable and to encourage you to try two rounds at two heights to gain the most from your trip out over the winter, we believe this is great value for money for such a fun experience. You will come away buzzing from the challenge! There are usually 5 fixtures in the Series and all are based at Blackdyke Farm Riding and Competition Centre near Carlisle. Entries are welcomed from 3 weeks prior to the event date and can be found in the SHOP for the 4 main Optimum Time classes of 60cm, 75cm, 85cm and 95Plus cm, (the Plus allows for a few jumps to be raised to 100cm), and occasionally we will include some Speed & Joker classes at the higher levels which is ideal for those wanting to whizz round. If you are a Member of the Blackdyke Riding Centre you may use voucher code bdfcc to gain a £2 per class discount. The price is raised to £20 per class during the week of the event. However, a block booking of 8 entries may be purchased for £96 (equiv of £12 per class).
Start Times are published on the Thursday evening before each Sunday’s competition, again on this website in the Timber Trials pages. You will also receive a welcome email from us in the week of the competition as a reminder of what to do on the day with any last minute notices.
On the day, it is best to arrive so you can walk the course in one of the allocated Course Walk periods (you will find this in the Start Times listings) and then arrive to the indoor warm up arena and make yourself known to the Collecting Ring Steward and then go and warm up. You will be called by the Steward in good time to wait to go into the Main Arena. We always recommend you trot your horse around the arena to allow him to see the fences and familiarise himself with the atmosphere. The bell will be rung and you have 45 seconds to start your round which will be timed by the Judge and displayed on the Arena Clock. A clear round is essential to come in the top 5 for placing in your section. There may be 2 sections of the same class where entry numbers reach more than approximately 25 per class.
We have LIVE SCORING which is available to view either in the Cafe on a TV Screen and this is updated at the end of each competitors round. It is also available live on the website so if you need to head home in a rush you can always get someone to look up on route. The prize giving for the prizes in kind (we do not offer prize money) go to 3rd place and these are generously provided by our sponsors Maiden Marine.
Superbly professionally designed and judged courses the show jumps often come first and faults are given for knockdowns (4) and refusals (4) and these are followed by the cross country fences which accumulate faults for refusals (20), falls (elimination) and or jumping the wrong fence or any fence backwards (elimination).
Leader boards are kept across the series for Individual, Open Team and Schools Teams and these are available to view HERE. You can enter your team as part of the normal entry process.