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Get in the saddle for Lichfield’s historic Sheriff’s Ride

Horse riders are being urged to saddle up for the annual Sheriff’s Ride in Lichfield. 

The Sheriff's Ride takes in countryside around Lichfield

The Sheriff's Ride takes in countryside around Lichfield

The Sheriff’s Ride is a unique tradition dating from Queen Mary’s Charter of 1553 in which Lichfield was separated from Staffordshire and made a ‘City and County’ with a right to appoint its own Sheriff.

The Charter commanded the Sheriff to make a complete perambulation of the City to inspect the boundary each September – a tradition which has been upheld to this day. 

Although steeped in history today the ride combines the best of English tradition with a fun ride.

Lichfield's Sheriff's Ride in the city centre

Lichfield's Sheriff's Ride in the city centre

The day starts from the centre of historic Lichfield, where the Sheriff accompanied by other Civic Dignitaries will lead the procession of horses out of the city. The 22-mile ride then follows a marked route via bridleways, private land and some road sections with plenty of cross country canters and gallops, before returning to the city via the Cathedral Close. 

The ride, which has been established over many years, is well policed and accompanied by fully equipped support vehicles.

Participants will be split into groups accompanied by marshals, with a morning, lunchtime and afternoon break.  Entry costs £25 and is open to competent riders 16 years or over.  Entrants should be dressed in hunting or dressage clothing and there is a prize given for the best turned-out horse and rider. 

For more information and an application form contact Kate Durrant at Lichfield City Council on 01543 309854 or email kate.durrant@lichfield.gov.uk.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.