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Classic car showing on Princess Anne’s Gatcombe estate

A host of distinctive classic cars are to celebrate their 25th anniversary in the splendour of Gatcombe Park estate next month, as part of the Gatcombe Horse Trials weekend.

Middlebridge Scimitar GTE

Held at the Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa, the International Horse Trials will take place over the weekend of the 19th to the 21st September and will feature a display of 40 Middlebridge Scimitars from across the UK and Europe. The marque, the first of which was manufactured in 1988, was rolled out over two years and only 78 cars were ever built, including one for The Princess Royal.

The anniversary event will allow spectators to vote for their choice of the best presented and most interesting car on display, along with viewing the Horse Trials and the variety of dressage, show jumping and cross-country phases run throughout each day.

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Now in its 19th year of running, The International Horse Trials are an incredibly popular event. The course, which is designed by Her Royal Highness and her event organiser Pattie Biden, often attracts in excess of 500 entries including a selection of riders from across the world on each day. These usually include the famous New Zealand trio of Sir Mark Todd, Andrew Nicholson and Blyth Tait. Princess Anne will present prizes and awards at various times through both Saturday and Sunday.

Gatcombe Park is situated between Minchinhampton and Avening in Hampton Fields, approximately six miles north of Highgrove House; the country residence of The Prince of Wales. The manor house and estate were purchased in 1976 by the Queen for Princess Anne and her then-husband, Captain Mark Phillips.

The renovation and redecoration was paid for by The Crown and the royal couple moved into the premises in November 1977. Further land was acquired through the purchase of Aston Farm in 1978. When Anne and Phillips divorced, the two estates were separated and Phillips lived in the adjoining Aston Farm until his move to the United States. Peter and Zara Phillips had their own personal cottages within the estate until their respective engagements and, today, the Princess Royal lives with her second husband, Sir Timothy Lawrence, on the estate.

The event will begin at 9.00am each day and admission for spectators is priced at £6.00 per car and all occupants and an additional £4 for a programme. For full information on directions, the selection of trade stalls and shops available and accommodations, please visit the websites below.

Whatley Manor International Horse Trails at Gatcombe Park
Middlebridge Scimitars

Image Credits: Mark Fosh, NHC_UHI

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