THOUSANDS of people descended on Bolesworth Castle for a sun-soaked family spectacular.
The new-look Bolesworth International has been a massive hit with visitors since doors opened on Wednesday.
And there is still plenty left to enjoy before the unmissable five-day event ends this Sunday evening.
Crowds flocked to the 6,000-acre Tattenhall estate – on the border of North Wales and Cheshire – and enjoyed a busy timetable of international equestrian competitions and lifestyle attractions with special guests including broadcaster, author and journalist Louise Minchin, Ernst and Young tax leader Victoria Price, and Wrexham AFC CEO Fleur Robinson, who fronted a sold-out Women in Business lunch and Q&A presented by HM3 Legal yesterday (Thursday).
“I’ve been here many times, it’s a beautiful place – absolutely immaculate – and I love it,” said Louise, who also discussed the release of her new book, Fearless.
Reflecting on a whirlwind season which included promotion from the National League, backed by Hollywood owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, Fleur added: “It’s fantastic how the owners have invested in the club and the community.
“It’s amazing to be a part of it and the interest and growth has been incredible. The club has seen turnover rise from £2.5m to £20m and as part of their mission statement they made it clear they wanted to develop the stadium, increase crowds, and make a difference in the community.
“They are also aiming for the Premier League. There are no major timescales attached to this but it’s the ultimate ambition.”
Thursday also featured an A-List Auction and Gala night with Gallagher and a Trooping the Colour charity park ride in aid of the RDA (Riding for the Disabled) with Sir Lee Pearson CBE, ahead of Friday’s Business Day, where a networking session with horseracing legend Sir A P McCoy and former England and Liverpool striker Michael Owen will be among the highlights.
Bolesworth’s Managing Director Nina Barbour says the “incredible response” from the public means they are well on track to achieve 250,000 annual visitors ahead of the Castle’s 200th anniversary in 2028.
“The Estate has been a hive of activity since the launch on Wednesday, with crowds of people from across the country joining the celebrations,” said Nina.
“Show jumping in the main arena has been world class, and well contested, with some of the top names taking part.
“The crowds have loved it, the standard has been unbelievably high and it was great to see a female winner in Faye Adams.”
She added: “The business and networking events have also been well attended, and I would like to thank all our special guests for being a part of what has been the most packed programme we have ever put together.”
The coming days will also include live music, when The Brand New Heavies, DJs Trevor Nelson and Phoebe D-Abo, and Rick Parfitt Jr and the RPJ Band take to the stage.
An extensive shopping village and food and drink outlets look to be even busier over the weekend as tickets continue to sell rapidly, and families have been enjoying a raft of activities from pony rides and land and water zorbing, to FMX and BMX stunt displays, a wildlife petting zoo, beekeeping, falconry, dog training, fairground, action horses, barbecue masterclasses and more.
EV and Hybrid vehicle experience zones have also proven popular, with nine leading brands available to test drive on and off site.
“We have had the most amazing few days but there is still so much more to come so book your tickets soon – don’t miss out!”
Bolesworth International runs until Sunday (June 18). For the latest news and information and to book tickets, visit the website www.bolesworth.com/international or call 01829 782210.
For VIP packages, email [email protected].
Alternatively, email [email protected] and follow them on social media at @bolesworth.