The final countdown has begun…the entries are in…the finishing touches are begin made…excitement levels are at maximum and the green light is just days away for the 2015 instalment of the Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials, June 11 – 14. The entry list reads like a who’s who of eventing; medallists galore, six former winners, a current World Champion and three riders in the world top eight so visitors and supporters won’t be disappointed. Over 170 combinations from 13 countries around the world will converge on Yorkshire next week for three top-drawer competitions; the Equi-Trek CCI3*, the British Equestrian Trade Association CIC3* and the Bishop Burton College U25 CCI3*. Bidding for an unrivalled eighth win, William Fox-Pitt heads the British entry with Pippa Funnell, Kristina Cook, Oliver Townend and local heroine Nicola Wilson all amongst the top names entered.
William, announced today as the new world number one, places his hopes in a single ride, Carol Gee and Catherine Witt’s Fernhill Pimms who was a winner Blenheim’s special CIC3* for eight and nine year olds in 2013 but is yet to complete a CCI3*. With a year’s use of an Equi-Trek Sonic horse box, as well as £5750 first prize, at stake, rest assured William will bring the horse fighting fit as it’s a prize he always wants to win! Oliver Townend, born and bred in Huddersfield, will be a busy bee with four rides while Pippa Funnell, two times winner has three horses as does Northallerton’s Nicola Wilson and Kristina Cook, one of which is her 2014 World Championship silver medallist, De Novo News who had an unfortunate fall in the water at last month’s Badminton.
The foreign challenge is led by reigning world champions from Germany, Sandra Auffarth and Opgun Louvo in the BETA CIC3*, who’s over in Britain to be based with team trainer Christopher Bartle at the Yorkshire Riding Centre. It’s a rare appearance on British soil for the combination so get to Bramham to see them ‘live’. Antipodean super stars Andrew Nicholson, Jonathan Paget and Caroline Powell from New Zealand plus former winner Australian Paul Tapner will all be ones to watch. As ever, the Irish and French are sending strong squads with eight and 12 riders respectively and they won’t be there simply to make up numbers.
In the Bishop Burton College U25 CCI3*, last year’s victors Tom Jackson and Waltham Fiddlers Find are attempting make history by winning back to back titles while Dani Evans, Emily King, and Holly Woodhead, making her 3* debut, all have medals to their names and will be hoping to thwart Tom. Swedish siblings Ludwig and Ellen Svennerstal will lead the international charge, albeit from Yorkshire as the duo is also based at the Yorkshire Riding Centre.
The action kicks off on Thursday 11 June with dressage for the CCI and CIC sections while the under 25s are all day Friday with the remainder of the others. Saturday is action day when all three tackle Ian Stark’s stunning cross country. For the CIC competitors, there’s show jumping to be done first in the Equi-Trek Arena while the CCI section is out in the beautiful Bramham parkland. The Under 25s are in the middle before the CIC3* finale where our winner of the £2,000 first prize will be crowned.
Sunday’s climax is the for the two CCI sections where the tap of a toe on a pole could spell disaster in the show jumping. The U25s set the scene before the final CCI competition and with around £29,000 on offer over the two sections, riders will be looking for clear rounds. The CCI riders have the added incentive of that Equi-Trek Sonic horse box for a whole year – quite a prize!
Over the weekend there’s further coloured pole action in the form of British Showjumping classes in both arenas for your enjoyment. A host of top names are booked in including; Robert Smith, Olivia Dales, Kerry Brennan, Laura Robinson, Pippa Allen and an amazing seven members of the Whitaker dynasty – Ellen, George, James, William, Joe, Steven, Louise Saturday afternoon’s feature classes are The Bramham Classic and the Suregrow Fertiliser Six Bar while on Sunday, the Wetherby Skip Services Grand Prix, the wealthiest jumping class on offer, with a £1,500 first prize, brings the event to a close.
Bramham will also host a number of classes in Hunter Show on Thursday including Horse of the Year Show qualifiers for light, middle & heavy weight and working Hunters while the Pony Club Mounted Games will feature in the TopSpec Arena on both Saturday and Sunday plus the Pony Club Team Jumping on Saturday. Always with an eye on the future, young horses will also feature heavily with Bramham hosting a Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse four and five year old qualifier for the prestigious Championship in September, plus Event Horse Breeding and Young Stock Classes for foals to three year olds.
A full list of CCI & CIC entries can be found on www.bdwp.co.uk/bra plus the full competition timetable and event news is available on www.bramham-horse.co.uk. Daily tickets are available for purchase on the gate – prices start at £12 per adult, children under 12 go free and car parking is £5. The telephone box office is now closed but you can still use the online box office until Saturday 06 June so book your tickets now to take advantage of discounted prices and free car parking!
For all you budding photographers, make sure your camera is primed for action as there’s a competition and your image could be our programme cover star next year!
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