We have cross country jumps at all of our existing BE level heights -80cm, 90cm, 1m, 1.05 and 1.10 - as well as a new set of smaller fences at 40/50/60cm, and a course at 70, and we are continually adding to these. So there truly is something for everyone at CXC, from those starting young horses through to riders wanting a fun day out, those practising for hunter trials or horse trials up to professionals preparing for international competitions.
We will be adding to the course over the year and we will move fences around to give fresh challenges.
As ever, we are happy to move fences around if there is something specific that you want to practice. Contact Tanya on 07541032398 to discuss your requirements.
Comphurst Cross Country Course
The cross country is set within 140 acres of our 300 acre farm in the picturesque Sussex countryside. Fences vary from .30m to 1.20m and the variety of jumps includes everything commonly found on BE courses.
The training ground was initially designed by Scott Brickell, Olympic 2012 course builder and British Eventing Platinum Course Designer. Scott is also responsible for designing local BE XC courses for events such as Brightling, Chilham and Eridge Park and he also builds Burghley.
The course has been developed further by adding extensively to the 80, 90 and 1m courses and by adding an entirely new course of fences at 40, 50 and 60cm. We also offer a Novice course of 1.10m jumps and some 2* type combinations. The courses incorporate all the fences typically found at a BE Novice course such as pheasant feeders, boathouses, skinny box brushes, etc. The courses allow experienced riders to introduce their horse to straightforward fences at this level, and then progress to jump more technical combinations off turns and at angles on related distances, for example. The fences are cleverly situated to make full use of the flat and undulating ground at CXC, and allow riders to make decisions about how to jumps combinations. For example, a group of 3 brush fences can be jumped in several different ways, depending on what the rider is aimimg to achieve. The 1.10m course is sited so that should a rider experience difficulty at a Novice fence, they can resore their horse's confidence by jumping a near-by fence at a lower height and lesser difficulty before tackling the Novice fence again. In this way, we have built a truely useful training facility to help riders take the step-up to Novice. There are also more challenging complexes that would be at home on a 2* course, and even some Intermediate questions.
The training ground is designed to be educational, so that riders and coaches have the option to start with straightforward fences and then build up confidence in their horses by adding more complex, and different heights, of jumps, as well as taking more difficult lines to fences. For example, a rider might wish to introduce a novice horse to ditches by using our simple training ditch, where a horse can step easily across a slight shallow dip, before progressing to a slightly deeper and wider ditch that demands an actual jump from the horse, to confidently jumping through a half-coffin, rail-ditch-rail combination, or one of our number of ditch/pallisades or trakehners.
We have a wide variety of challenges on the course, including many different types of skinnies, banks, steps, drop fences, water, combinations, ditches and corners, as well as fences that require bold riding. They start at small logs on the ground that are ideal for baby horses, and move to 50, 60 and 70cm before building up to the BE competition specifications of the 80, 90, 100 and 1.10m classes. Many sections of the training ground have BE Novice type technical questions whilst being set at lower heights, making them ideal for riders wishing to build confidence before stepping up to Novice or before tackling more complex Championship courses.
We have a number of jumps and combinations that are inspired by the Mitsubishi Motors Cup fences to be found at Badminton and they are well worth jumping before attempting that Championship or, indeed, Firle Horse Trials which also uses these fences. Many of the jumps at CXC can be found at local BE Horse Trials.
Most of the jumps and combinations have all-weather take-offs and landings. We regularly move the jumps around to offer fresh challenges to horses and riders. If a rider or trainer would like us to move particular jumps to cater for their specific needs we are more than happy to help.
Trainers are very welcome to accompany individual riders or to organise clinics. Trainers should hold their own professional insurance and we offer discounted rates to trainers holding group clinics. All individuals must be accompanied. We welcome Pony Clubs, Riding Clubs and coaches who want to run clinics. We regularly run clinics with top BE trainers and 5* riders. Please contact Tanya on 07541 032398 to discuss your ideas.
We are keen to provide a facility that riders and trainers want to use and to this end we welcome suggestions of further jumps/complexes that we can add as we develop the course.
Will Reid has farmed Comphurst Farm for almost 40 years and has spent a great deal of time improving the topsoil and substructure of the land. The soil structure of the XC fields consists of Tunbridge Wells Sand and were sown with a grass specifically for this type of equestrian use. We graze sheep in the winter to tiller out the roots to give good ground cover. It is regularly mown and strimmed to give good, even ground cover and to encourage further root spread, again to constantly improve the ground conditions. The sand in the soil means that it drains well and it is likely to be useable in early spring and late autumn. Permanent take-off and landing areas have been added and, as we learn how riders use the course, we will add further take- off/landing areas of limestone dust.
The steep slope of our wooded cut-through should be taken carefully as this it may become slippery in wet conditions. A one-way system is signed so that riders come up the slope rather than down for safety reasons, and to avoid collision when a number of riders are using the course.
Turning off the A271 (BN274RZ) by the entrance to PGL, drive through the farm gate (there is a CXC sign on this). If you have a 7.5t or HGV lorry turn sharp right and park on the hardstanding. If you have atrailer, 3.5t lorry or car keep straight and pass the farm buildings and grain silos on your right and continue past the telephone mast into the field ahead. Turn right before the white rope fence and park facing up the hill.
It is a condition of using the facilities that all riders MUST sign a Disclaimer before riding. This is done on the online booking system and applies to all riders who are booked in. See 'Booking'.
Conditions of Riding
All riders must be accompanied (whether by another rider or someone on foot) and should have a mobile phone with them in case of emergencies (the best access for emergency vehicles when riding in the main field is down the lane to the house; Comphurst, Comphurst Lane, Windmill Hill, Hailsham, East Sussex BN27 4TX).
It is a condition of riding that all riders wear a body protector to current BETA standards and a BE approved cross country standard crash hat.
All users of the facilities should be aware of other users and behave in a courteous manner so that everyone can enjoy their time on the course.
All children must be accompanied by an adult.
No horses under the age of 4 or riders under 8 may use the facilities.
Please clear up after your horse, take your horse muck home with you and clear up spilt hay.
Dogs are welcome at CXC and should be kept under control and on a short lead at all times. Any dog barking at horses or causing a nuisance must be removed. Please clear up dog foul.
Terms and Conditions of Clinics
In signing up for a clinic riders agree to accept the terms and conditions set out by CXC. If another party completes the online booking process on behalf of the rider(s), it is the responsibility of the person booking the clinic to bring the terms and conditions of the disclaimer and the clinic guidelines to the notice of the rider, and it is a condition of riding that the rider accepts these conditions.
Whilst every effort will be made to allow clinics to go ahead if conditions are such that to do so would seem likely to endanger horses/riders/ponies/spectators beyond the usual level then cancellation may be unavoidable. Every effort will be made to find an alternative date to allow the clinic to be re-scheduled. In such circumstances, Tanya Reid will endevour to refund the clinic fee. Each clinic space must be paid for in advance to ensure that it is booked. If a rider books and pays for a clinic but cannot attend it is there responsibility to find a replacement. If they do so their fee will be refunded.
It is a rider's responsibility to arrive in good time for their clinic and to be suitably warmed up (if this is required by the trainer), attired and with their horse/pony in the correct kit in time for the start of the clinic.
Each rider must sign a disclaimer before riding at Comphurst Farm.