THIS week’s Somerley Park International Horse Trials boasts a myriad of former Olympic, European and World medallists.
Team GB is strongly represented at the Ringwood venue on Tuesday and Wednesday (March 27-28) with William Fox-Pitt, Mary King, Pippa Funnell and Beijing Olympics bronze medallist Kristina Cook all in action in the grounds of the picturesque estate, home of the Earl of Normanton.
Fox-Pitt has entered ten horses - five in the Open Intermediate – while King brings Cavalier Venture.
The rest of the world is strongly represented, particularly New Zealand with Badminton winner Mark Todd on five horses including NZB Campino, and Andrew Nicholson who has ten rides.
Australia is represented by Lucinda and Clayton Fredericks, each past winners of the prestigious CIC2* class.
Competitors from Sweden, China, Belgium, France, USA and Ireland are also represented at Somerley, which for the first time ever also welcomes riders from South Africa, the Czech Republic, Austria and Russia.
On Tuesday there are Novice & Intermediate classes, when the event horses of the future will see if they can complete dressage showjumping and the challenge of cross country.
Wednesday sees the finale of the International CIC** with showjumping and the exhilaration and excitement of the cross country.
Somerley also welcomes new title sponsors Chesterton Humberts , who are generous supporters of the equestrian world, sponsoring Burghley Horse Trials in 2011 and top rider Emily Baldwin, a winner at Chatsworth International, who brings Dassett Courage to run on the Tuesday.
The event also features 25 countryside trade stands with a wide variety of products on offer for equine and leisure pursuits along with a large public marquee with quality catering and a specialist marquee with a wide selection of the best of the local Farmer’s Market produce.
Admission is £10 per car (to include programme subject to availability).
Visit www.somerleyparkhorsetrials.co.uk for map and more details.