Seventeen British combinations are due to start in the German CCI4* at Luhmühlen this year (15-18 June).
The last British winner at Luhmühlen was Sharon Hunt on her 2008 Olympic team bronze medallist Tankers Town in 2010, but a strong Team GB entry this year could be set to change that.
Among the big names heading to Germany are Pippa Funnell with her Rio ride Billy The Biz, Nicola Wilson with 2015 Boekelo winner Bulana and Oliver Townend. Oliver has three horses entered, including Black Tie, who was fourth here in 2014 — earning a spot at the World Equestrian Games — and was fourth again after cross-country last year, but was withdrawn before the final horse inspection.
H&H columnist Harry Meade is entered with Away Cruising, while Ros Canter will hope to follow up her fabulous Badminton with a good run here on four-star first-timer Zenshera. Flora Harris will start on 2015 Bramham CCI3* winner Bayano and Alex Bragg lines up on Redpath Ransom, having had a great dressage and showjumping at his first Badminton earlier this month, but sadly had to withdraw Zagreb before the final horse inspection.
Badminton winner Andrew Nicholson heads the New Zealand challenge, riding four-star debutant and last year’s Blenheim CCI3* runner-up Teseo.
As usual, the home side fields a strong hand in both the CCI4* and the CIC3*. Andreas Dibowski will defend his CCI4* title, riding FRH Butts Avedon this time, while his 2016 winner It’s Me xx will contest the CIC3*. Sandra Auffarth has her 2014 world champion Opgun Louvo in the CIC3*, while Badminton runner-up Ingrid Klimke (Horseware Hale Bob OLD) and Kentucky winner Michael Jung (FischerRocana FST) both start in that class too. Julia Krajewski will hope to repeat her good CCI4* performance here last year — she took third on Samourai Du Thot, but had a less successful time at the Olympics, being eliminated for three refusals.
The Netherlands has three notable four-star entries in Andrew Heffernan, with his two Dutch championship horses Boleybawn Ace NOP and Millthyme Corrolla, and Tim Lips, who returns with Bayro, third in the CIC3* last year.