The Lycetts Grantham Cup (CIC***) has attracted 100 entries including Sir Mark Todd, who will ride is London and Rio Olympic mounts NZB Campino and Leonidis. Zara Phillips brings High Kingdom, whilst Ireland’s Jonty Evans will ride Cooley Rorkes Drift. Defending Grantham Cup champion Christopher Burton has entered TS Jamaimo and Graf Liberty, with fellow Australian Sam Griffiths down to ride Happy Times. There will be a stong continental contingent too, with Germany’s Bettina Hoy entering Designer 10 and French riders Arthur Duffort and Sidney Dufresne also scheduled to compete.
Belton forms part of the Shearwater Insurance Tri-Star Grand Slam which offers a £50,000 prize for any rider who can win three of the five CIC3* events included in the competition.
Alongside the top class, the event will host classes from Novice to Advanced, including a CIC**. The Advanced class has attracted 60 entries, with Andrew Nicholson a strong contender on the evergreen Nereo. Tina Cook will ride Star Witness, who has finished in the top 10 in all three of his four-star starts, with 2014 Badminton winner Sam Griffiths and Paulank Brockagh also on the start line. In this class the pair to watch must be local rider Willa Newton with Caja 20. The pair won the British Eventing 7 Year Old championships at Osberton in 2015, following that up with victory in the Blenheim Palace 8/9 Year Old Championships last autumn.
Event Director Stuart Buntine says of this year’s entries: “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.”
Belton International Horse Trials runs from 31st March – 2nd April 2017. For more information visit http://belton-horse.co.uk.