Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials at Burghley House near Stamford will be a five-day event running from Wednesday to Sunday from 2020
A world-renowned event which brings thousands of visitors to Stamford is set to become even bigger.
From next year the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials will be five days long, to cater for amateur riders.
The Burghley Horse Trials takes place in Burghley Park near Stamford in early September each year and is traditionally held from Thursday to Sunday. It attracted about 167,000 visitors last year and is screened on BBC television.
In 2020 it will open on Wednesday, September 2, and close on Sunday, September 6, making it a five-day event.
While this may benefit hotels, restaurants and other businesses in and around Stamford - and cause a headache for those who get held up by the event’s traffic - the reason for the additional day is to cater for keen horse riders.
Event director Elizabeth Inman said: “We see this as a natural progression for amateur riders at grassroots level to have the opportunity to ‘compete at Burghley’ alongside our elite international Olympic-level riders.
“When combined with the prospect of an additional day’s early Christmas shopping we are confident this ticketed event will be well supported throughout the duration.”
The Wednesday will cater for amateur riders along with the long-standing ‘First Horse Inspection’ for the main competition.
Trade stands and the ‘food walk’ will be able to open throughout the Wednesday and subsequent days of the event.
The equestrian competition will then continue with dressage on the Thursday and Friday, cross county on Saturday and showjumping on Sunday.
Eventing came to the parkland surrounding Burghley House in 1961 after the owner of the estate, the Marquess of Exeter, heard that a three-day event at Harewood was to be cancelled due to a suspected outbreak of foot and mouth disease.
He invited the British Horse Society to transfer the event to his estate and it has been there ever since.
Captain Mark Phillips, an Olympic gold medal-winning horseman and the first husband of Anne, Princess Royal, has designed the course at Burghley since 2005, as well as taking on this role during the 1990s.
British rider William Fox-Pitt is Burghley’s most successful competitor, having won the competition six times. Last year it was won by New Zealander Tim Price on Ringwood Sky boy.