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Graham Fletcher says . . .

“After the enthusiasm that greeted HOYS’s move to Birmingham last year, the organisers had a lot to prove. This year, Grandstand Media invested in new structures for superb hospitality lounges overlooking the main arena, one for international owners and another for sponsors.

“HOYS still gives only three tickets per horse, which leaves owners having to fork out for another ticket for the husband, wife or friend. Nevertheless, HOYS remains crucial to our sport, not least because it’s the culmination of our national series.”

Marcus Armytage says . . .

“I was a joint-master of the Old Berks hunt for three years, ending two season ago. They were probably the three most stressful years of my life.

“What swayed me was the chairman’s slightly misleading argument ‘and you know, the great thing about it is you can visit other hunts for free’.

“That sold it to me, but what he didn’t tell me is that I’d barely have time to visit my own farmers. Another pack? No chance.”

Mark Phillips says . . .

“If anyone thought that all the Brits had to do was turn up in Punchestown, they had a rude shock. In the end, it took selfless riding to team orders to land the coveted team gold.

“When Over To You missed his step on to the island at the last water, there was no room for error and Yogi Breisner issued team orders to take the long route.

“In the end, the best team won. Let us hope it is not the last European Championships run over the full three-day event.”

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