The Bolesworth Classic (1 – 4 June) gave record crowds four days of action packed, Jubilee entertainment, sure to have provided memories that will stay with them forever. Despite changing weather, the team hosted their best show yet and the sheer volume of family attractions and world class sport was second to none.
With an array of International riders prying for the impressive prize money on offer, the three show jumping arena's were action packed, and Saturday's Eventing Grand Prix was a serious crowd pleaser. With hardly a viewing space left, commentator Steven Wilde had to resort to standing on top of a horsebox, to get a clear view of the action on which to report!
Local riders were in fine form, as the best of the North West turned out to support the event. Winsford based Ceri Strachan kicked things off by winning the first of 56 classes in fine form. Some of the International classes were also taken by North West residents including the Children on Horses European Trial, in which Holywell-based Morgan Carpenter came out on top. Wirral-based Emily Ward showed true class with her mount King Mac, rising to victory in the European Viewing Trials. Best of the Cheshire based riders overall was Anthony Condon, and Northwich based Keith Shore also had a successful four days.
The home team had several successes over the weekend with Estate Director Nina Barbour picking up a placing in one of Friday's classes. Part of the Bolesworth enterprise, Harthill Stud had a particular highlight when Lord Luis took the spoils in Monday's finale - The Grand Prix - with Nantwich rider Geoff Billington.
Grand National winner Neptune Collonges made a sensational appearance in the Castle Arena in support of 2012 chosen charity Claire House. Crowds lined the arena to get a glimpse of the Hales' National treasure who galloped in to Aintree's impressive hall of fame.
Friday's glorious weather offered the corporate audience a memorable day for them to entertain clients, staff and associates in the luxurious VIP marquee. Blue Leaf's Rob Smith gave an informative and entertaining presentation to delegates, and the business lunch was extremely well received by all those who attended.
Family entertainment was yet again in abundance, offering everything from vintage funfair rides to falconry displays. Dog shows and duck races entertained all ages, and helicopter rides allowed visitors to view the beautiful estate from a rather different view. The Duck Race in aid of Claire House (Childrens Hospice Charity based on the Wirral) proved an entertaining affair, as the wind direction continually changed, lengthening the race considerably!
By night, the Bolesworth Estate turned in to Chester's premier party destination, hosting a cocktail party, the big night out and a Caribbean dance party.
The Jubilee celebrations went ahead as planned, despite Sunday's relentless weather which meant the day's show jumping classes had to be abandoned. The Big Lunch, a Cleo B Fashion Show and camel racing meant those attending were kept in good spirits.
Live streaming and continual facebook updates were a new addition for 2012, and both were extremely well received. The live streaming was watched all over the world, and facebook updates attracted over 1,000 views per day.