Cotswold Team Chase & Country Fair, 29 Oct, nr Cheltenham, Glos
IT’S a white-knuckle ride to the finish line for the teams brave enough to take on the legendary hedges and drops around the stunning Andoversford Estate. The novice class attracts some intrepid junior teams and the intermediate is a foot-to-the-floor dash, but the centrepiece is the open — a qualifier for the national championships and an epic battle between the sport’s bravest. It’s the final round of the league series, so expect the teams to be even more competitive than usual.
The undulating course features traditional Cotswold stone walls and a hairy descent over open water, offering ample opportunity to see the thrills and spills up close. Mingle with the country set and shop for sheepskins, fine wines and equestrian art during breaks in the action. Insiders say that the best coffee is found at Carpuccino, but the real buzz centres around the competitors’ bar — where you’ll find the loyal and very vocal supporters, some rowdy prize-givings and much good-humoured heckling from rival teams.
Not to be missed: a parade by eventer Jonty Evans and his Olympic partner Cooley Rorkes Drift. the Nitty-gritty: £15 per car and occupants, or £45 trackside parking for picnickers. teamchasing.co.uk
battle of the bravest: the open class at the cotswold team chase features skill, courage and some seriously competitive riders