Mary King (pictured) and Sacha Pemble are currently making their way to Hampshire for Tweseldown’s first international three-day event (Wednesday 24 May – Sunday 28 May). Both King and Pemble have entered horses in the £8,000 CCI two-star as well as the contentious unaffiliated CIC one-star section which offers a £3,000 prize pot.

In March, Brynley Powell, organiser of Tweseldown told HHO that he was left with “little choice” but to host an unaffiliated competition after British Eventing (BE) turned down his application to run an affiliated CIC one-star, which would have helped him finance the CCI two-star. The Event Riders Association (ERA) agreed to sponsor the controversial competition which has since attracted a line-up of top class event riders.

Mary King, who is riding Kings Gem in the CCI two-star will be partnering Kings Temptress in the one-star. Punchestown winner Sacha Pemble will be riding Woodlands Unique Comet in the two-star and Dazzling Effects in the CIC one-star. Britain’s young talent will be out in force in the CCI two-star – Aaron Miller, Lauren Shannon and Holly Wick will all be trying their luck along with Daniel Sibley and Jade Lazenby. Awards will be presented to the highest place Under 25 and Under 21.

Powell set his heart on running a one-star after hearing riders complain about the lack of things to do during a five-day international competition. The unaffiliated CIC one-star will feature top riders judging the dressage phases and giving critical advice to competitors after the show jumping and cross-country phases.

Mike Etherington-Smith has designed an almost completely new two-star course and given the one-star course a make-over. “The two-star course is a mixture of portables and new permanent fences,” Etherington-Smith told HHO, “And it also includes some fences from Windsor. It is run on minimum distance but I’ve hopefully got rid of the twists and turns.”

According to Etherington-Smith the course is a “middle of the road two-star course” which includes doubles of corners, skinnies and a footbridge. “Hopefully everyone will enjoy themselves,” he said.

Throughout the event families can enjoy marquee dining, fine fast food and a wealth of trade stands. Admission to the Hampshire venue costs £5 per car, with one adult free and a £5 charge for each additional adult; children under 16 are free. Dressage takes place on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; cross-country on Saturday and Sunday; and show jumping on Saturday and Sunday in the main arena. For more information please telephone +44 (0)1252 850628.

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