Success will taste sweet for winner at 50th Burghley Horse Trials

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THE 50th anniversary event for the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials got underway yesterday.

THE 50th anniversary event for the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials got underway yesterday.

Thousands of people will attend the four-day event where past winner The Princess Royal will give out prizes on Sunday.

Her daughter Zara Phillips will be among a line-up of some of the equestrian world’s top names as they compete for one of the sport’s biggest prizes.

Visitors bring a welcome boost to businesses across our area each year.

It is a particularly busy time for staff at The George Hotel who have been looking after the event’s officials.

General manager Chris Pitman has once again risen to the challenge of baking a celebratory cake for the winning horse while Katie Watts, of Couture Cakes in Deeping St Nicholas, has baked one for the rider. Both are on display in the hotel reception.

Mr Pitman said: “Burghley and The George go hand in hand. All our rooms are booked up and when people check out on the Monday, they re-book for the next year.

“Burghley is one of the best weeks of the year for us. It’s always busy but we enjoy it and there is a great atmosphere.”

Despite only opening six weeks ago, The William Cecil in High Street St Martins is also fully booked this week.

Staff are running a golf buggy service to transport guests to and from the horse trials site and have opened an extra bar in a marquee to cope with the extra visitors.

At the event itself, more than 500 trade stands have been snapped up by businesses. Among them will be Essendine company TyrePal, which will exhibit its new horsebox safety equipment.

Director John Pye said: “We are excited to be attending Burghley for the first time.”

Barnack Country Clothing and has had a stand at the event for many years. Director Judith Broughton said: “Burghley is fantastic for us. It’s the only show we do each year because it is so local and it provides a real kickstart to our autumn and winter range.” In Stamford town centre, shops are getting into the Burghley spirit. Staff at Phase 8 have created a special window display.Manager Nikki Graham said: “It’s a really exciting time for the town and I wanted to get involved. The customers have loved it.”

The shop will be serving free bubbly to customers on Saturday.