Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials has drawn a huge, star-studded international cast for its 2016 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 CCI3* 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 credit, 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 this class, while his compatriot Sir Mark Todd has entered OBOS Colombos.
Aoife Clark, who took the CCI3* 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 CIC3* for eight- and nine-year-old horses – the future stars of the sport – 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 final leg of the Event Rider Masters series, and runners for that CIC3* class are available on the Event Rider Masters website (www.eventridermasters.tv).
Event Director Mandy Hervieu said: “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.”
CCI3* Clark Montgomery (USA) on Mr & Mrs W. Becker’s Loughan Glen
CIC3* Jonelle Price (NZL) on The Marley and Me Syndicate’s Cloud Dancer II For more information or to buy tickets head to www.blenheimhorse.co.uk