SVGC Supporting Equestrian Sports within the Local Community and Military

by | Nov 18, 2021

Larkhill jumps

At SVGC we’re passionate about supporting our local community, especially in areas that assist military personnel and their families.

Larkhill is acknowledged as a major Community Sporting venue by Wiltshire County Council and the Ministry of Defence, with Larkhill Racecourse hosting seven national level Point to Points and Larkhill Eventing hosting twenty other equestrian competitions and trials. The venue is also used for Regimental Open Days and local community events.


Larkhill is the Army’s only remaining point-to-point racecourse. Administered and run by the Royal Artillery, it is set on the southern edge of the Defence Training Estate on Salisbury Plain, not far from SVGC headquarters. At almost 2¼ miles, it is the longest continuous loop racecourse in England other than Aintree. Set on free-draining chalk grassland it is widely recognised as being the best racecourse of its type in the British Isles.

Over the years Larkhill Racecourse has gained a reputation for challenging fences and being a big galloping course – comprising 2 miles 1 furlong of downland track with 13 steeplechase fences, of which two are Open Ditches. The races are run over 3 miles and five of the fences are jumped twice, giving a course of 18 jumps in all. The quality of the course encourages trainers to bring their best young horses to Larkhill to introduce them to the rigours of racing on a good and fair course; many going on to win major races ‘under rules’, including three winners of the world’s premier steeple chase, the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Larkhill Jumps

The aim of Larkhill Eventing is to provide a unique community engagement venue to allow the military and civilian equestrian communities to engage in Hunter Trials and Eventing disciplines, competing at the same events. Its main effort is to provide affordable access to this sport for military riders and into military competitions that would otherwise be more expensive, if not cost prohibitive. Whilst doing this the course also raises funds for the various charities including the ABF (the Soldiers Charity), SSAFA and the Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

Larkhill judges building

To ensure this facility is maintained and kept to the best possible standard for military use Larkhill sought sponsorship to help sustain both courses and the enabling facilities. SVGC is pleased to be the Strategic Sponsor of Larkhill Racecourse and Larkhill Eventing. Now starting our second year as sponsor, SVGC’s support has helped them live through the constraints of the pandemic; meant the racecourse has been able to refurbish the Judges Box which was unsafe to use for the season; and most exciting will help fund the build of a major water-jump and ditch complex. Building work for the water jump will begin spring 2022, so watch this space for exciting opportunities ahead!

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