This year’s FEI Belton International Horse Trials takes place from 13th – 15th April and, as always, many of the biggest names in the sport have thrown their caps in to the ring. Over 160 ‘Three Star’ horses have entered, a significant increase on last year. With Belton International the second of four legs for the Tri-Star Eventing Grand Slam £50,000 ‘winner takes all’ there is much to play for.
2017 Lycetts Grantham Cup winner Izzy Taylor has four horses entered, her best shot at retaining the title probably coming from Perfect Stranger who has not only won at this level before but last season posted four wins and three third places from seven completions. Stats don’t get much better than that.
However Piggy French has a friendly score to settle; but for finishing one second over the showjumping optimum time last year, she would have won the Lycetts Grantham Cup with Quarrycrest Echo. This partnership returns to try and make amends – whilst Piggy also has her Burghley 2017 runner up Vanir Kamira entered.
Last summer’s British European Championship team reserve Alexander Bragg, who will already have walked the course with supporters of official charity Bransby Horses on the Friday, has three rides including Zagreb, a horse which last year won him the Polly Phillips Memorial Trophy for the highest placed British Rider who has yet to compete on a senior championship team. Undoubtedly an up coming talent, Alex is very much one to watch.
Other entries read like a Who’s Who of the sport: William Fox-Pitt, Pippa Funnell, Mary King, Andrew Nicholson and Sir Mark Todd to name just a few. They will be joined by upcoming talents, including local girl and member of last summer’s gold medal winning British team, Ros Canter.
Advance purchase ticket discounts cease at midnight on Sunday, 18th March. From Monday tickets will start at £5 for a child (5-14) and £12 per adult (22+).
With riders representing 18 nations, Event Director Stuart Buntine says of this year’s field: “It’s always rewarding to have such strong support from riders across the levels, both amateur and professional. We intend to put on another great event for everyone; riders, owners, supporters and spectators.”
For more information on any aspect of this year’s Horse Trials, and to book advance tickets, visit http://belton-horse.co.uk