Heavyweights from the eventing and horseracing world will clash in the JCB Champions Challenge at this year’s St. James’s Place Barbury International Horse Trials.
The race, run in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF), will feature a stellar line up of two teams of the world’s very best jump jockeys and eventers riding against each other over a specially designed course.
Hungry to defend their Champions Challenge crown for a third consecutive year, the jump jockeys will be led by newly crowned champion jump jockey Richard ‘Dickie’ Johnson. Dickie will be joined by a trio of current and former jump jockeys; Wayne Hutchinson, 2015 Hennessy Gold Cup winner and stable jockey to Barbury based Alan King, as well as one of the most successful jockeys of the modern era Tom Scudamore. The team will be completed by John Francome MBE, a former multiple champion jump jockey, who is also vice patron of the IJF.
After being beaten by the narrowest of margins in the two previous running’s, the event riders have submitted a team comprised of speed and quality. Sir Mark Todd will captain the eventers and will be joined by husband and wife team Tim and Jonelle Price and Australian Paul Tapner.
Commenting ahead of this year’s ‘Barbury battle’, Dickie Johnson said: “In the summer months, as jump jockeys we try to take things a bit easier – but not this year, myself, Hutchinson, Scudamore and Francome – are in serious training and can’t wait to lay down the gauntlet to the eventers.”
Sir Mark Todd commented: “I may be advancing in years, but I am confident I can get one over on Francome – as he is even more advancing than me!”
The winning junior and senior teams from the inter-hunt relay will form the final two teams in the JCB Champions Challenge.
Tickets for the Barbury International Horse Trials start from £12 per person per day booked in advance. Children under 12 years go free. For information and tickets visit barburyhorsetrials.co.uk or call 01672 516125.