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The Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park will give some of New Zealand’s top combinations a last big run before next month’s Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
The Kiwis have a great track record at the event, with Sir Mark Todd and Andrew Nicholson both multiple winners, and both will be hoping to replicate that again in the British Open Championship, the CIC3*.
Nicholson has his two top horses on the card – his two-time Land Rover Burghley winner Avebury (owned by Rosemary and Mark Barlow) and his 2011 Gatcombe winner Nereo (owned by Libby Sellar), on whom he will compete at the world championships.
Todd has Oloa (owned by Di Brunsden, Peter Cattrell, Pip McCarroll and Todd), while Craig Nicolai will also start in the big class on his own Just Ironic.
Included in the 53 combinations entered in the CIC3* are some of the world’s best. Australians Sam Burton and Christopher Burton, along with Brits Zara Phillips, Pippa Funnell, Nicola Wilson and others.
The dressage for the open starts on Saturday morning (UK time), with the showjumping and cross country on Sunday.
There are also plenty of New Zealand combinations competing in the other classes, including Neil Spratt on Barones II (owned by Craig Horton),Tim Price on Bango (owned by Price), Nicholson on Urma BK (owned by Paul Ridgeon),Jet Set IV (owned by Libby Sellar), Ulises (owned by Paul Ridgeon), Cillnabradden Evo (owned by Sally Anne Egginton), Thornton Jones (owned by Nicholson) and MHS King Joules (owned by Beedgebury Park, Gabriella Atkinson & Tom Joule), Dan Jocelyn on Valentijn V and Odds Against (owned by Hilary Kennedy), Alice Montgomery on Uno Di Landro (owned by Stephen and Charlotte Montgomery), and Todd on Leonidas II (owned by Di Brunsden, Peter Cattrell and Todd).
Gatcombe Park is the home of Princess Anne and her family.
For more information, head to http://www.gatcombe-horse.co.uk/ and for results, http://www.bdwp.co.uk/gat/ .