Cotswold Team Chase & Coun­try Fair, 29 Oct, nr Chel­tenham, Glos

Horse & Hound - - Winter Show Guide 2017 -

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

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