Osberton International Horse Trials preview 
Over the next few days eventing stars of the future will be competing to be crowned Young Event Horse Champions at Osberton International Horse Trials.
The Championships, which celebrate the best of British breeding and future stars of the equine stage, are sponsored by KBIS British Equestrian Insurance – one of the largest independent horse insurance companies. 
Throughout the year, qualifiers have taken place across the country for Four and Five year old horses, and the cream of the crop will be competing for the title over two days of competition where tomorrow’s champions are unveiled. 
Previous winners of the Four and Five Year old championships include NZB Land Vision ridden by Sir Mark Todd, Willaim Fox Pitt’s Cool Mountain and Pippa Funnell’s Redesigned and Billy Landretti. But one of the most successful horses at the championships is Ceylor LAN who won the Five, Six and Seven year old Championships in consecutive years and is now enjoying success at 3* level with Kitty King. 
Riders contesting the 4 Year old final include Zoe Wilkinson, Alex Hua Tian, Ben Way, Jason Hobbs and Noah Brook. Riders featuring in the 5 Year Old Championship this year include William Fox-Pitt, Nicola Wilson, Oliver Townend, Piggy French, Izzy Taylor, Gemma Tattersall, Aoife Clark and Alexander Bragg with Eventing Worldwide’s LVS Stonehavens Quebec. 
Alongside the KBIS Young Horse Championships, their six and seven year old compatriots will take part in CIC1* and CIC2* competitions for Young Horses ad well as CCI1* and CCI2* competitions. Entries include Lucinda Fredericks, Wills Oakden, Vittoria Panizzon, Craig Barr, Paul Tapner, Alexander Whewall, Kitty King, Pippa Funnell and Eventing Worldwide blogger Emily King. 
Due to the high number of entries, dressage started to day the competition culminating on Sunday. 
During the event, with permission of Event Director Stuart Buntine, an open meeting has been arranged for British based riders, owners, organisers, officials and volunteers to discuss the potential implications of a rule change under discussion within the FEI, which would see the introduction of five penalties for each flag which is knocked down during cross country phase. The meeting will be chaired by Bruce Haskill, President of the Event Riders Association along with FEI rider representative Daisy Berkley.
What’s on at Osberton Intermational Horse Trials? 
Once again proving that eventing is for all he family there are a host of other activities taking place through the duration of the event. 
One of the weekend’s highlights will be The Voltaire Design Inter Hunt Gate Jumping. The aim is to jump the gate without knocking it down – in 2014 it reach an incredible 1 metre 50. If it falls the competitor may only continue at the discretion of the judge, if they remove an item of clothing. The winner will be the person to jump the highest gate with the most clothes on. The winner receives a prize of £500 and the crown of being the Ultimate Thruster!
On Saturday, The Director’s Challenge will put event grooms in the spotlight. They will be asked to complete a very simple mane plaiting challenge – blindfolded. The riders don’t get away with it as they will be the ones providing assistance to their grooms. There will be two heats and then a grand finale, which will take place outside the riders bar during happy hour. With a much-desired tool of the trad, a Nomad Washer worth £200, up for grabs the competition will be fierce. 
Building on its success last year, Osberton International Horse Trials will also host the Bede Best of British Showcase, presenting the best young horses in Britain. The showcase provides sellers with a platform to present their horse in the arena and for buyers to see and try a selection of horses in one place within a competitive environment. This year there are 18 horses entered into the showcase, all with excellent eventing pedigree. 
On Friday, visitors have the opportunity to participate in a charity course walk with FEI European Silver Medal winner Kitty King and Philip Surl, one of Great Britain’s top coaches. Kitty will be talking through her approach to this year’s CCI1* course whilst Philip will be explaining the progression to the 2* course. Money raised through donations will be in aid of event rider Ben Hobday’s nominated charity Bright Red. The course walk starts at 11am at the start box on Friday 2nd October. 
Osberton provides visitors the opportunity to get ahead with their Christmas shopping with an array of trade stands – from local produce to internationally renowned clothing brands. 
The Duck & Dive Tavern will be open all weekend at Osberton, in conjunction with Dukeries Brewery. Featuring more than 50 beers and ciders including many that are produced locally it is an opportunity to rest your feet and sample some of Nottinghamshire’s finest ales. The Duck & Dive Tavern will also be showing the Rugby World Cup on a big screen, including England v Australia. 
For dog lovers there are a variety of activities for both young and old alike. There’s ‘Have A Go’ Dog Agility where owners can test their skills and then watch the experts in action in the Triple A series in the main arena. Jan Pollard and her team of Gun Dogs will show her variety of different gun dog breeds and types, demonstrating their skill and obedience. As part of their demonstrations this year there will also be a ‘have-a-go’ competitive gun dog scurry on Sunday 4th October. Also on Sunday there will be a family dog show run by Jerry Green Dog Rescue whilst Steve Kinde Dog Training will be demonstrating elements of gundog training that build up to produce a well-trained dog. 
Members of the Midland Driving Trials and British Carriage Driving Groups will showcase competition carriage driving at its best during the Arena Driving Challenge with both local national and international carriage drivers taking part. 
In addition there will also be live demonstrations from Your4Legs and the Vale of York Polo Club throughout the weekend. 
For more information about the event visit Eventing Worldwide will be providing regular updates on the competition via the website, Facebook and Twitter. 
Sarah Carless

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