THE 2013 SHOW
30th May - 2nd June
The start of the Bolesworth Showjumping Classic is now only four days away and today we can announce the names of the 14 riders who’ll compete in the Bolesworth Express Eventing qualifier on Saturday (June 11). There’s an international line up representing Great Britain, New Zealand, Ireland and China.
The athletes will be hoping to secure a place in the Express Eventing 2011 final at the Horse of the Year Show at Birmingham’s LG arena on 4th October.
Express Eventing is the Twenty20 cricket of three-day eventing. All the action - musical dressage, cross-country and showjumping - takes place over one day and it’s a great introduction to equestrian sport.
Topping the bill at Bolesworth is this year’s Badminton champion, Mark Todd and former Badminton and Burghley winner, Oliver Townend.
Todd, who’s 55, won his 4th Badminton title 31 years after first winning the event.
He said: “Everything has fallen into place this season. Everything feels just right and I think I’m riding better than ever now, probably better than when I was a young man.
“I’m not riding as dare-devil or with the drive as I did when I was younger but age and experience count in this sport - and in life too! That’s why I’m riding better than ever.”
Todd is looking forward to competing at Bolesworth against former Badminton and Burghley champion, Oliver Townend. Todd added: “I’ve heard a lot about Bolesworth and I’m really looking forward to competing in such a beautiful setting in the heart of Cheshire’s horse country.
“I’m relishing the chance of taking on the young guns like Oliver. I’ve competed against him for a couple of years now and I know he’s a tough competitor. The concept of Express Eventing is a good one and I’m now trying to decide which of my horses will be best suited to the format.”
Townend said: “Bolesworth will be a brilliant setting for Express Eventing. This is a new and exciting sport which is great for people who’ve never watched any kind of dressage, showjumping or cross country before.
“I’ve always thought there’s great potential for it to become the Twenty20 of our sport. Equestrianism can appear a bit exclusive and Express Eventing blows away that old fashioned image of our sport.
“The new concept of qualifiers is a great idea. It means we now have something like our own final at Lord’s or FA Cup Final at Wembley. I’m really looking forward to trying to regain my Express Eventing title and, for me, it all starts at Bolesworth.”
Thursday’s timetable for the Bolesworth Express Eventing qualifier:
Saturday, June 11th
09:00-10:30 Express Eventing Dressage
11:30-12:30 Express Eventing Cross Country
13:30-14:15 Express Eventing Showjumping
For more details www.bolesworthclassic.com
The Bolesworth line-up:
Mark Todd (NZL). Berkshire based Mark is an Eventing legend and was this year’s winner of the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials. He is also a double Olympic Gold Medalist, representing New Zealand.
Oliver Townend (GBR). Shropshire based Oliver was the winner of the inaugural Express Eventing in 2008. He is also a previous winner of both the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials and the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials and has also represented Great Britain.
Michael Ryan (IRE). County Cork based Michael has represented Ireland at the European Championships and World Games.
Matthew Wright (GBR). Nottinghamshire based Matthew has represented Great Britain at the European Championships. He has competed at International level, and has had particular success in Ireland where he was winner at Ballindenisk Horse Trials and the World Cup Qualifier.
Alex Hua Tian (CHI). Hampshire based Alex has competed in every Express Eventing competition so far, the only rider to have done so, and he was placed second last year. Alex was the first ever rider to represent China at the Olympic games when he competed in Beijing 2008.
Phoebe Buckley (GBR). Cambridge based Phoebe competed in Express Eventing last year, finishing in 6th place. She has has been the U25 Champion at Bramham CCI***and was a member of the 2005 gold medalist Young Rider team.
Fraser Duffy (GBR). Based in Ireland since 2000, Fraser has represented Great Britain on the international stage in both Dressage and Eventing as part of the Young Rider team and is now an established trainer.
Hannah Bate (GBR). Cheshire based Hannah is a former member of the Junior European Eventing Team and has also had notable wins at Windsor International and Blair Castle Horse Trials.
Jess Butler (GBR). Rutland based Jess has been fortunate enough to follow in the footsteps of riders such as Jeanette Brakewell and Sarah Cohen and to ride and train with the Lawrence David Event Team.
Shari Butchart (GBR). Essex based Shari is a former Grade A Showjumper and has previously competed at the Horse of the Year Show. She also represented Great Britian in that discipline on both the Junior and Young Rider teams. This is her third season of eventing after making the switch.
Charlotte Castle (GBR). Lincolnshire based Charlotte has represented Great Britiain as an individual Young Rider, gaining 7th place in the Young Rider Europeans in 2007. Charlotte competes to 4**** Level.
Paul Sims (GBR). Cheshire based Paul competed at International level both at home and abroad, and was the placed second at last years Intermediate Championship at Gatcombe Park.
Fiona Hobby (GBR). Wiltshire based Fiona competes at International 4**** level and was 7th in the Blenheim Horse Trials CCI*** last year.
Carol Pearson (GBR). Lincolnshire based Carol competes to International 2** level. She has competed in several eventers grand prix competitions, including at Bolesworth Classic last year.