Stage set for thrilling competition at Blenheim

Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials has drawn a star studded cast for this year’s event, which takes place from 8th-11 September.

Fourteen nations will be represented – eight from Europe, as well as New Zealand, Australia, the USA, Japan, Brazil and South Africa.

The principal CCI*** class features the two riders who have been most successful at Blenheim Palace over the years – William Fox-Pitt and Pippa Funnell, both veterans of many British championship teams. William, who has five Blenheim wins to his name brings Secret Night, while Pippa, with four previous successes under her belt, has entered Billy Cuckoo and Majas Hope.

New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson, a dual Blenheim Palace winner, rides Teseo in the CCI***, while his compatriot Sir Mark Todd has entered OBOS Colombos.Aoife Clark, who took the CCI*** in 2014 for Ireland, brings Wasting Light, while Britain’s Oliver Townend will be gunning for his first Blenheim Palace triumph with Dunbeau and Noteworthy.

The highly prestigious CIC*** for eight- and nine-year-old horses has attracted a bumper entry. Among the favourites from the British camp to lift the trophy will be Laura Collett (Pamero 4 and Mr Bass), Tina Cook (Billy The Red), William Fox-Pitt (Top Biats), Tom McEwen (Toledo De Kerser) and Pippa Funnell (MGH Grafton Street).

This year Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials also features the finale of the Event Rider Masters with the draw featuring some of the world’s top riders including William Fox Pitt, Jock Paget, Blyth Tait, Paul Tapner, Izzy Taylor. The starting list also includes some stars of the future including Sam Ecroyd, Frankie Reid Warrilow and Alexander Whewell, who will bring Chakiris Star, winner of the Smith & Williamson Intermediate Championship at the Festival of British Eventing.

Event Director Mandy Hervieu comments: “What an event we have in prospect. We look forward to welcoming many Rio Olympians to Blenheim Palace, and a particularly high amount of very exciting young horses. The next Olympic cycle starts this autumn, and spectators are bound to see the heroes of the future at Blenheim in September.”

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