An exciting line up of international riders is set to compete at this weekend’s Houghton International Horse Trials.
As part of the line-up of competition, the Norfolk event will host the British leg of the FEI CICO3* Nations Cup of Eventing – the third event in the series. After two events, France and Ireland are joint leaders in the series with Great Britain in third.
The French, who have shown impressive form so far this year have named their team; Marie- Caroline Barbier (Picasso Oreal), Didier Dhennin (Troubadour Camphoux), Denis Mesples (Oregon Vine), Geoffroy Soullez (Madiran Liot), and Mathieu Van Landeghem (Feast Trouble ENE * HN).
Australia has also nominated a strong team for the competition, which is made up of Tim Boland (GV Billy Elliot), Sam Griffiths (Beaurepaire Nemo), Andrew Hoy (Rutherglen) and Kevin McNab (Wonham What Next).
Equestrian Australia High Performance Manager Chris Webb says the event provides another opportunity for Rio hopefuls to compete in a strong team environment. He commented: “We have assembled a competitive team which includes Tim Boland who will compete in a Nations Cup for the first time. Tim has made the journey from Australia and his horse GV Billy Elliot is a great example of an Aussie based horse mixing it with some of the best. We look forward to the team coming together and performing strongly across all phases of competition.”
The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has announced that its team will be represented by Katherine Coleman (Longwood), Tiana Coudray (Sambuca F) and Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp (Fernhill by Night).
A host of top riders from New Zealand, Great Britain and Germany are also entered for the Nations Cup and
Young Riders will also be in action as the event hosts the British Eventing Askham Bryan National u21 Championships, an important competition to showcase up and coming talent. British selectors will be keeping a keen eye on combinations ahead of the 2016 Young Rider European Championship taking place in Italy this September.
Entries have already attracted some exciting Young Riders on the list, with 2013 double European Pony gold medallist Yasmin Ingham campaigning her own eight year old gelding Night Line, with whom she finished 11th on at the recent Belton Park International CIC2*. Will Furlong brings forward his own 2015 European Young Rider gold medallist, Livingstone II – the pair finished in second place at the BE Askham Bryan National u21 Championships in 2015 and will be aiming to go one better this year.
Sam Ecroyd and Penelope Ecroyd’s Tullaher Sunrise currently sit in second place in the Calver Wealth Management 2* League and will hope to add to their points tally with a strong performance in the British Championship. The highest placed British based rider will also be competing to take home the 12 month loan of a quad bike, kindly donated by SUZUKI ATV UK.
With a CCI1* and CCI2* Houghton International has a bumper weekend of competition lined up, including the third event in the Shearwater Tri-Star Grand Slam, which sees any rider who can win three of the five Tri-Star competitions walking home with an incredible £50,000. The winners of the first two legs were Oliver Townend and Christopher Burton.