Andrew Norman: Rockingham is breaking new ground

A competitor at the previous Brigstock International Horse Trials held at the Rockingham Castle estate last year
A competitor at the previous Brigstock International Horse Trials held at the Rockingham Castle estate last year

The chief executive of Rockingham Castle writes for the Telegraph.

Is it any wonder that we are so obsessed with the weather in this country?

This time last year we were seeing the tail end of the snow which had been on the ground for many weeks.

This year the average day time temperature of late has been above nine degrees.

Long may this continue as the ground conditions for an international horse trials such as the Brigstock International Horse Trials, from May 2 to 4, are critical.

Riders at this level are very particular and their horses more so!

I live in hope that the ground will be soft enough for the horses but firm enough to put in place all the myriad of infrastructure required.

Work has started this week repairing the estate roads which were not build with the modern horse box of many tons in mind. In fact they started out as cart tracks!

The estate maintenance team who turn their hand to whatever is thrown their way tackle every new job with an enthusiasm which is a credit to them all.

“Variety is what we live for” is their motto.

Once the roads are repaired they will be setting about installing safety fences to reduce the chances of a loose horse getting on to the main road.

The office team are building up to posting out all the paperwork for sponsors and volunteers to enable them to arrive on site in good time without being held up by security staff.

All the orders placed with contractors are being checked and confirmed and loose ends tied up.

The highlight of this week is that we have confirmed there will be wifi on site for general use.

This is breaking new ground for Rockingham and will undoubtedly become standard for all events in the next few years.