Spectators and visitors at this year’s Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials are in for a real treat as the entry includes all five of Britain’s 2012 Olympic team silver heroes.  For the four days over 5 – 8 June, William Fox-Pitt, Zara Phillips, Kristina Cook, Mary King and local Nicola Wilson will compete eight horses between them.   Over 160 riders from 13 countries will contest three world class competitions; the Equi-Trek CCI3*, the British Equestrian Trade Association CIC3* and the Bishop Burton College U25 CCI3*.  May’s Badminton CCI4* proved tough for a number of top combinations and they’ve re-routed to face a new challenge, Yorkshire style!  Notable amongst these are Kiwi Sir Mark Todd and NZB Campino, who also rides recent Chatsworth CIC3* winner Amacuzzi.


Having won at Bramham seven times, William Fox-Pitt understandably is called ‘Mr Bramham’ and he brings Christopher Stones’ Chilli Morning who he’s partnered to win the CCI section for the last two years. They’re in the CIC this year so it won’t be a hat-trick of CCI wins for the duo but don’t discount them on taking top CIC honours.  In the Equi-Trek CCI, his chance of win eight rests with the relatively inexperienced Freddie Mac, owned by Lady Best and Jane Keir who makes his CCI3* debut.  Zara Phillips, back to full riding fitness after becoming mum to Mia, rides her Olympic partner High Kingdom, owned by Gleadhill Stud, in the CIC and Black Tuxedo in the CCI.  Nicola Wilson brings her parents’ Annie Clover and One Two Many, owned by Janine Shewan and Gerry & Mary Kemp.  Kristina and Mary have a ride each in the CCI in Star Witness and MHS King Joules.


Former Bramham winners Paul Tapner (AUS) and Astier Nicolas (FRA) return for another try at securing a title, while Vittoria Panizzon (ITA), Mark Kyle (IRL), Clark Montgomery (USA), Caroline Powell (NZL) and Karin Donkers (BEL) are also notable international challengers plus an amazing 13 French entries!  Other home riders to be on the look-out for include Oliver Townend, originally from Huddersfield, Izzy Taylor, Daisy Berkeley, Gemma Tattersall, Ruth Edge and Sarah Bullimore
Dressage for the CCI and CIC sections gets underway on Thursday 5 June while all three sections will be in the main arena on Friday.  Saturday is the spectator’s favourite day which starts with CIC show jumping and then all three sections head out to the scenic Yorkshire parkland which Bramham is famous for to tackle Ian Stark’s cross country course.  The spring sunshine and showers means the park is looking splendid and the going under foot for the horses is perfect. First off will be the CCI section, then the under 25s before the CIC set off to establish the winner of the £2,000 first prize.


Sunday it’ll be all eyes on the Equi-Trek Arena as the roll of a pole means victory or defeat for some in the show jumping. The U25s are first on before the final CCI section with a total of £29,000 on offer across the two sections, fault free performances will be the order of the day. If the cash wasn’t a big enough incentive, sponsors Equi-Trek are also giving the CCI winner use of one of their two-horse lorries for a whole year!


Over the weekend there’s a host of top level pure show jumping in Bramham’s Arenas.  Top names entered include Daniel Moseley, Jackson R Stephenson, young stars Millie Allen and Emily Ward and selection of Whitakers, namely Donald, Joe, Louise, Steven and Ellen, who’s just had a baby.   Saturday afternoon features The Bramham Classic in the Equi-Trek arena. 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 HorseDirect 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 closes on Wednesday 28 May and the online box office on Saturday 31 May; 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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