MORE than 17,000 visitors enjoyed this year’s record-breaking Bolesworth International.
The lifestyle and equestrian festival packed hundreds of activities into five days featuring celebrity guests, international showjumping competitions and a feast of fun for all the family.
The Brand New Heavies, Rick Parfitt Jr and DJ Trevor Nelson were among the stars who took to the live music stage over the weekend, and from Wednesday to Sunday there was a wide selection of things to do, from falconry displays, freestyle motocross and a wildlife and reptile show to a celebrity BBQ masterclass, fancy dress parade, BMX displays, a dog activity zone, EV and hybrid automotive test drive zone and much, much more.
There was also a Women in Business panel with broadcaster and journalist Louise Minchin, Ernst and Young tax leader Victoria Price, and Wrexham AFC CEO Fleur Robinson, before a networking event the following day with sporting legends Michael Owen and Sir A P McCoy, who regaled the sell-out crowd with tales from their successful careers.
With 105 horses in training at his Manor House Stables in Cheshire, former Liverpool and England striker Michael said the equine and business worlds share many of the same values as football, adding: “You have to surround yourself with the best people; you might have the best manager and be at the best club but unless you have the best players it’s pretty hard to turn them into world beaters.
“It’s exactly the same principle in business, which is why we aimed high, for the best trainer, the best staff, the best facility and best of everything – hoping you get a little luck along the way!”
In addition to world-leading showjumping categories, the fairground and myriad attractions across the estate, there were artisan food and drink trucks and a retail village with more than 100 producers, equine independents, makers, and artists.
Bolesworth’s Managing Director Nina Barbour said the new-look event was designed to attract even more families to what was traditionally a celebration of all things equine.
“Our love of horses and showjumping is paramount and at the centre of everything we do at the Bolesworth International,” said Nina.
“But we wanted to do even more for our visitors this summer, especially families, which is why we introduced so many different elements.
“From live entertainment to fairground rides, activities for dogs, children’s games, action-packed shows and the EV driving zone – a particular favourite on Father’s Day – we tried to cover all bases.
“The feedback and numbers we’ve had through the gates were astonishing, we are absolutely thrilled and thank everyone who was a part of the event this year.
“From our brilliant staff to the competitors, stall holders, event partners and all of those people who bought tickets, we are incredibly grateful and look forward to seeing you at further events in the months ahead.”
The showjumping culminated in victory in the Cavago CSI3* Grand Prize for Irish star Billy Twomey, riding Chat Botte E.D.
Elsewhere, in the eVet Drug-sponsored Puissance, the winners were specialists Guy Williams and Mr Blue Sky who jumped a staggering 2.15m in the final round, and Veneno, ridden by Scotsman Graham Gillespie, took the plaudits in the Dodson & Horrell 1.50m jump-off.
Bolesworth Castle has a packed schedule for the second half of 2023, including the much-anticipated new Jurassic Live adventure (July 25-30), Cheshire Balloon Fiesta (August 4-6), a Halloween Circus, Fireworks and Christmas at Bolesworth, a festive extravaganza to feature a 240 square-metre ice-skating rink, a Champagne bar, and the popular lights trail.
To book your tickets and for the latest news and information about events at Bolesworth, visit www.bolesworth.com or call 01829 782210.