BOLESWORTH Castle is to host a three-day Showjumping Classic and Country Fair this summer, which could attract up to 9,000 visitors.
The cream of Britain’s showjumping talent will be among 300 competitors descending on the Tattenhall country estate from June 6-8, with £40,000 of prize money at stake.
Bolesworth Estate, established in 1856, is also seeking to rekindle country shows in Cheshire by staging a fine food marquee, shopping village, fun fair, archery and dog show to entertain families during the event.
The castle offers a panoramic setting behind the two showjumping rings, which will see novices, professionals and possibly Olympic hopefuls compete in what will be an annual event.
Sponsor The Assura Group has put up £18,000 in prize money for Sunday’s Grand Prix finale.
The Country Landowners Association will present a specially commissioned trophy in memory of the late Anthony Barbour, who died last October.
Stabling will be supplied for 300 horses, with facilities and parking laid on for a peak crowd of 3,000 visitors each day.
Organiser Nina Barbour worked closely with the British Showjumping Association for more than a year in order to bring the event to the county.
She said: “We identified a need for a showjumping event of a certain calibre to be run in the North West. We also felt that Bolesworth would be an ideal venue.
“We want this to be a key date on the national calendar and an event for the whole of Cheshire to enjoy.”
Estate president Diana Barbour said: “Bolesworth has always been about diversification. This is something quite different and very exciting for us. I hope it will be a big success.”
The event will be launched by Nant- wich-based Olympic showjumper Geoff Billington at a VIP cocktail party.
Profits from the event will go to spinal cord injury charity The Catwalk Trust.