Stratford Hills - BE

Kelpie

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Hi All

Am thinking of going to Stratford Hills in June but have never been to that venue before so just wanted to find out a bit more about it. It's for a fairly young horse and she's easily distracted by "stuff" (show tents, etc). She schools nicely, her issues aren't really with the jumps as such (SJ or XC) but in dealing with the whole show atmosphere thing.

Could some kind soul give me an idea of the venue? Layout? In particular is the SJ ring fairly quiet or right in the thick of things, if you see what I mean?

What's the XC like?

We'd only be doing the 80 and just need to find some confidence giving venues, so feedback much appreciated.

Thanks!
 

vallin

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I can tell you about the PC events held there but I don't know how different they are to the BE. At the PC events you have the four dressage arenas on one side of the field, the showjumping in a corner of the same field and the XC start over a hedge from the SJing. The secretaries tents/food vans etc are sort of in a line with the dressage and dressage warm up. I'd certainly say it's quite compact and buzzy BUT both times I've been for the PC events it's been lovely, the ground has been fab and the show jumping at least was a lot less intimidating than somewhere like little downham/Keysoe etc as it was tucked in a corner.
 
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Sportyspots

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Hi
Stratford Hills is my local and I'll be competing on the first day and dressage writing on the second day for 80/90s. All the trade stands, secretary etc in a line with dressage warm up to the right of them and arenas beyond the warm up backing onto a wood, very quiet and since the Xc is round the corner beyond the wood Xc sounds and view not heard/seen from either sj or dressage apart from tannoy. Sj is to the left of trade stands in a huge flat ring with warmup other side of adjacent hedge. Xc is hilly so as Essex is in parts very flat the time is often difficult to get as we're not used to hills so kick on. Most fences are portables with 2 permenant water jumps ( only 1 used in BE events so far), a couple bank complexes, a ditch rail ditch and small trekaner as permenant fences. Ussualy very inviting. It's also next to the A12, unlike other venues who often say close to major road networks and then you disappear down narrow country lanes for half an hour Stratford Hills borders the A12 so is literally only 2mins from major road. Run by friendly people and I don't think they've balloted, can get hard if nice weather but last year did loads of aerating and rode well
 

vallin

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Ooo, with regards to getting there it is really easy if you follow the directions on their website, don't do what I did and follow the sat nav and have a very stressful journey!
 

cundlegreen

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You don't get a lot of trade stands there, and the SJ ring is large, so plenty of time to organise yourself. The only down side is a quite small sj warmup which can get horses lit up due to numbers. Even my experienced event mare gets a bit bouncy there. As said, the XC needs a fit horse and rider. The last hill, had some horses really knackered by the time they got to the last fence.
 

Embo

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Went there last year, my friend competed B in the 80 & her own in the 100. Really liked the venue and she came 8th and 7th respectively so a really good day!

It was B's first affiliated event and he coped really well - he is very easily distracted and very easily excited but he was a dream at this venue. Am looking forward to hopefully going back this year. The course was very inviting, I even found myself thinking I would be able to do the 80 myself - and I'm a huge wuss.

When you first arrive you do wonder why it's called Stratford Hills, then you walk the XC and are left feeling that the name doesn't prepare you and is a bit of an understatement! :D
 

Mooseontheloose

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It's a very nice event, Dressage arenas have woods on one side, only problem we ever had was swallows swooping after flies through the arenas - not much one can do about that!
Long standing, well run, flat arenas and SJ, loads of parking, quite old fashioned in a lot of ways, and yes, beware - there are hills!
 
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