ABOUT BCC RIDE AND DRIVE
This event offers a unique opportunity for riders to enjoy a day's riding in one of the most beautiful parkland settings which is totally free from traffic.
Organised by the parishioners of the four local churches, the ride includes a choice of three routes of 8, 12 or 15 miles taking you through the grounds of Grimsthorpe Castle - located near Bourne in Lincolnshire. The event is held by the end permissions of the Grimsthorpe and Drummond Castle Trust Ltd.
All the ride and carriage drive routes are within the grounds - entirely off public roads - with tranquil parkland tracks, woods and views of the lake and castle. It is well marshalled, clearly signposted and supported by a local ambulance service to assist with any incidents.
Each of the routes have been drawn up with the help of the estate manager and allows the opportunity for those who wish to practise over the optional jumps from the now defunct Hunter Trial course which used to take place in the park. These are located some way into the ride allowing the horses to warm up before facing such a challenge!
There is ample space for horse boxes of all sizes in the Gymkhana field where all the routes start and finish and hot and cold refreshments available alongside the secretary's tent.
A refreshment stop and toilet is located mid way along the ride routes and for those who carriage drive, the estate lends itself to a lovely place to have a quick picnic along the way! All we ask is for you to take your litter home with you and respect the park and its wildlife.
Homemade cakes baked by the local parishioners provide a welcomed treat for riders and drivers!
All who have ridden or driven the various routes comment on the peace and tranquillity of a truly spectacular setting - even inclement weather does not dampen their enthusiasm!
Whilst providing a unique opportunity to the equestrian community, the main function of the event is to raise much needed funds to support the fabric of our four local churches. All monies raised are divided equally between the churches as well as an external charity. These have included The Lincolnshire Air Ambulance, the St Matthew Housing Trust, Homestart, MIND, The Carers Sitter Service among many others.
Brilliant ride - we loved it! Gorgeous scenery and welcomed by a friendly team of organisers. Thank you to all - the cakes were delicious!
Having missed last years, we were keen to be back this year and you didn't disappoint. Beautiful route and love the gallops! What a buzz! Thank you
Thank you for providing such a wonderful place for my carriage pony and I. It's so nice to be able to drive somewhere safe and yet stunning. The cones course was a real treat, even with three balls down!
A really enjoyable drive through the beautiful estate - lovely people, lovely day. Thank you! Roll on 2019....
In 1978, Geoff and Dorothy Hix, farmers living in Castle Bytham started the Bytham Hunter Trials to help raise money for Castle Bytham, Little Bytham and Careby churches. The course was laid out by Geoff on his own farm and on land lent by local farmers John Sharpe and Alan Crawford. The jumps were maintained regularly by Geoff himself and helped by fellow farmers Jack Greaves, Malcolm Wood and Bob Creasey. Bill Thompson who used to design the course at Burghley, gave his expert advice on course layout to the team. Janet Wood acted as Treasurer and raised sponsorship funds for the event. Under Dorothy's excellent management, this event became a great source of funds for the local churches as well as a wonderful day out bringing all the villages together in a co-operative effort. Over 500 entries could be expected with horses being entered from North Lincolnshire, Derbyshire and Cambridgeshire. This was a major villages event with Dorothy's family, Mary, Sue and Robin playing a major part in the management, Trevor and Sheila Robinson ran the bar and the WI organised the refreshments. Although the event was organised brilliantly, a happy relaxed atmosphere prevailed perhaps never to be experienced again in these more difficult and litigious times. Dorothy continued to organise this event until 1991. During her term of office, nearly £30,000 was raised for the three Bytham Churches.
Dorothy passed the mantle to David Lowes in 1992 who organised a similar event in Grimsthorpe Park. By this time, the parish of Creeton had joined our group of churches so the funds were split four ways. The event continued, organised by a variety of chairmen until it had to be cancelled during the Foot and Mouth outbreak in 2001. On the way, one of the chairmen had requested that the funds to be split five ways to include an outside charity. Each parish took turns to choose this charity. By this time the event was being organised by Calvan and Rosemary Player. The Hunter Trial Committee faced a mammoth task as with the years lay off, an enormous amount of maintenance work was required on the course. The burden of legislation was also becoming onerous. For instance, it was now essential to do a safety assessment on each jump and various other legal requirements made it impossible to run the event in the same way. Calvan and Rosemary came up with the idea of running a Sponsored Ride. They had taken part in such events themselves and enjoyed riding their horses through beautiful countryside in peaceful surroundings. Grimsthorpe Park would be ideal for such as event and after much debate, the committee decided to approach Grimsthorpe to seek their approval and were very fortunate in gaining approval for the idea and the co-operation of Tim Clark to help lay out the 8, 12 and 15 mile courses. This event has been running since 2003 with increasing numbers of riders taking part. Over the years, the event has raised over £60,000.
Thank you to our generous sponsors who are supporting our event in 2019. Please visit their websites below. If you would like to sponsor our 2020 event and be included in our promotions, please contact us.