TWO of the biggest competitions in the eventing calendar will be a huge draw for our area in the coming months.

With so many top equestrian events having been cancelled due to inclement weather, Barbury Horse Trials (June 28-July 1) will be a rare opportunity to watch the top equestrian athletes before London 2012.

This year Barbury not only features the Wiltshire Show but will be turned into a food-lovers’ paradise with the CGA Festival of Food.

The festival will showcase cookery demonstrations from celebrity chefs and a cornucopia of homemade produce, as well as innovative cookery ideas. The Festival of Food will be run alongside the Wiltshire Show on Saturday, June 30 and Sunday, July 1.

Barbury is regarded as one of the friendliest competitions of the eventing calendar and is a lovely local day out where the whole of the cross country course can be seen from the main arena.

Barbury promises all the delights of Badminton, with more than 100 trade stands and four packed days of top class eventing, but on a smaller scale. Those riders selected for the Olympics are likely to use Barbury as their final test before the eventing at Greenwich which begins on July 28.

Advance tickets for the event are just £12 per person, Visit for more details.

Barbury is swiftly followed by the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe (July 13-15) and those not selected for Olympic glory will be making their way to the home of HRH The Princess Royal in Minchinhampton.

The Festival of British Eventing is being held two weeks earlier this year, due to their traditional date clashing with the London Olympics.

The much-coveted British Eventing Open Championship is always a hard-fought battle. New Zealand's Andrew Nicholson took the top two spots last year with Nereo and Avebury, while other past winners and likely contenders include British team stalwarts Mary King, William Fox-Pitt and Pippa Funnell, Badminton winner Mark Todd and Olympic gold medallist Blyth Tait.

The box office is now open for reduced rate tickets. For more information visit