Racing and horses have been central to Barbury for over 100 years, since Aubrey Hastings and then Ivor Anthony dominated the Flat & Jumps calendars in the first quarter of the C20th. Horses like Brown Jack (Champion Hurdle 1928), Morse Code (Cheltenham Gold Cup 1938), and Poet Prince (Gold Cup 1941) were all trained on the Barbury downs from stables in Wroughton.
Latterly, the Barbury torch has been carried by Mikey Heaton-Ellis, Clive Cox and Alan King. Alan, resident since 2002, has been in the top flight of British trainers for nearly 15 years after learning his trade with “the Duke”, David Nicholson.
Racing took place at Barbury until 1962 when the land was put into agricultural production. In 1992, the racecourse was re-opened and meetings have been added since to make Barbury one of the most frequented Point-to-Point courses in the UK.
Between 1995-2000, the estate staged the only timber race in the UK. The Marlborough Cup was very popular, often but not exclusively ridden by professional jockeys, but was discontinued at about the time that cross country racing emerged to become orthodox at Cheltenham.
Started in 2005, the Barbury International Horse Trials was awarded the highest level of International Eventing (CIC3*) in its first year and has grown to be one of the world's premier eventing competitions. Sponsored by St James's Place Wealth Management since 2007, Barbury now attracts 1,200 horses over 4 days and has been won by the world's best event riders from William Fox-Pitt through Pippa Funnell through to four time winner Andrew Nicholson. Barbury was part of the new and exciting Event Rider Masters Series in 2016.
Barbury fixtures 2020-21:
International - Sunday December 13
Vine & Craven - Sunday February 7
Tedworth - Sunday April 11
Barbury, 3m N of Marlborough, off A346, Jn 15 M4