Shop till you drop
After a successful launch last year, the Heart of the Highlands shopping area returns to Blair, showcasing fantastic Scottish small and local businesses ranging from photography to shoes, art, jewellery and ceramics. The horse trials is famous for its shopping opportunities, with something for all tastes and budgets: bespoke jewellery, fine art, country and casual clothing, everything you could possibly want for horses or hounds, Equi-Trek horseboxes, Land Rovers… the list is endless.
A taste sensation
For those visitors wanting to treat themselves to our finest hospitality, packages are available ranging from The Blair Experience, to the Four Star Folly or the Grassroots Glee. The Blair Experience includes a morning breakfast roll, delicious three course lunch with a glass of Gusbourne sparkling wine, and afternoon tea as well as forward parking and light refreshments during the day. Full details of all packages can be found here.
Visitors will also be delighted to hear that the Food Hall is back, with plenty to tempt the tastebuds, including handmade chocolates, artisan cheeses, baked goods, condiments, conserves and other scrumptiousness.
The onsite catering consists of independent Scottish businesses, several of which have won Street Food awards. We are on track to host the largest collection of independent food stands at any show in Scotland this year. Event attendees can take their pick from artisan burgers, German sausages, wood fired pizzas, Sri Lankan street food, smoked meats and much, much more.
Local distillery Persie Gin remains the official drinks sponsor and will be hosting a charity Gin & Fizz evening on the Friday, tickets to which can be bought here.
Continuing the theme, new for 2022 is The Old Nag Whisky Lounge, presented by Spirit of Perthshire and Robertsons of Pitlochry. The lounge will offer daily whisky tastings, sundowner cocktails and three speciality beers for the event: Moody Mare, Gallous Stallion and Hoof Hearted. On the opening evening, Wednesday, The Old Nag will be the venue for ‘A Night of the Blues’ – for which you don’t need a horse trials ticket to attend, and on Thursday it will host a charity whisky tasting.
Climb every mountain
Entries are coming in for the five international eventing classes, with over 100 combinations set to contest last year’s debut CCI1*-Intro competition. The winners of the two-star, three-star and four-star classes will also be named Scottish National Champions. Additionally Blair hosts two grassroots Scottish Championships at 90cm and 100cm as well as national classes at the same levels. New for this year, all eventing competitors will run across country up Blair’s impressive hills, providing an exciting challenge for the less experienced combinations.
Away from the eventing action, British Showjumping and showing classes plus the highly charged and competitive Pony Club games, offer a huge array of competitive opportunities for riders, and a great spectacle for visitors.
Be a culture vulture
While at Blair International, spare some time to visit the Castle and its stunning gardens. This year the Castle is displaying ‘Castle Couture: 1740 – 1844’, a carefully curated exhibition of historical clothing in exquisite condition. One gown, made of hand painted ivory Chinese silk and worn by the 2nd Duchess of Atholl, lay undiscovered in an old trunk in the Castle, simply listed as ‘with clothes’. Another dress is decorated with thousands of shimmering beetle-wings to catch the light.
A little help from our friends
Volunteers are still being recruited for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with a multitude of roles available. Camping, admission and meals while volunteering will all be provided and it’s a fantastic way of being part of the team. Visit the volunteers page on the Blair website for more information. There are no remaining camping pitches for non-volunteers.
General admission prices start at just £15 per person for one day, plus parking. If you want to make more of a holiday of it, a four-day season pass is £60 or a weekend pass is £39, both plus parking.