Nunney International Horse Trials will this year take place with a new organiser at the helm. Former Olympic gold medalist Bridget Parker has taken over the reins as organiser of the event which takes place from June 17 to 19 near Frome in Somerset.
The trials are run on grounds near Nunney that are owned by Mrs Angela Yeoman having moved there in 2012 from Longleat. They attract more than 800 competitors over the course of three days, ranging from grass roots riders to those who have represented their country at international level. Set against the backdrop of Southfield House, with several tradestands edging the main showjumping arena, the event is also very popular with spectators.
Mrs Parker said: “I am very pleased to have been asked by the committee to take it on. In the 80s I organised Frome Horse Trials which also ran at Southfield House so I’ll be going back to where I’ve been before.
“It’s a marvelous committee who have been together for a very long time and I am just there to help them make the event as good as possible.”
Mrs Parker is a renowned horsewoman and in 1972 she rode Cornish Gold to win team gold at the Summer Olympics in Munich, and finished tenth as an individual. Great Britain’s team performance was later described as “30 greatest sporting achievements of all time” by Times magazine.
Mrs Parker said: “When I was competing a lot of people helped me and organising Nunney Horse Trials is a way for me to give something back to a sport I love.”
Mrs Parker has also been a member of British Eventing’s Olympic senior selection committee for 20 years and this year will be part of the panel that selects the team for the Rio Olympics. Her role also means she has to check the credentials of any British rider wanted to compete abroad. “It’s an exciting year for British equestrianism and I’m very much looking forward to the selection process again this year,” she said.