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Top British show jumpers are currently en route to the Birmingham NEC for the 2006 Horse of the Year Show (4-8 October). Young talents Ellen Whitaker and Robert Maguire are joining a line-up of experts to contest the coveted Leading Horse of the Year competition in Sunday evening’s gala performance. Britain’s best hunters, show ponies and retrained racehorses will also be strutting their stuff in the show classes and displays including the Household Cavalry, fire-eating horsemen and the Pony Club Mounted Games, which will all take place intermittently throughout the four days.

The world-class show jumping competitions will take place in the Cushion Track International arena which consists of 1,300 tonnes of sand, rubber and wax supplied by Equestrian Surfaces. Esteemed course designer Bob Ellis will be the brains behind the show jumping courses throughout the week, working with a team of 12 assistants and 40 members of the West Midlands Regiment Territorial Army who form the arena party for Horse of the Year Show. Outside there are over 800 stables and 3km of security fencing to accommodate the 1,500 equestrian entrants.

Watch out for…

Horse & Hound Foxhunter
9pm Thursday 5 October
The Foxhunter remains the ultimate novice final – the one everyone wants to win…

Search for a Star Championship
Friday 6 October
The ultimate talent spotting class, reserved for horses, ponies and riders who have never qualified for HOYS or the Royal International Horse Show. Last year it was won by a pony, Rodham Sir Thomas, a bay six-year old.

The Puissance
Saturday 7 October
Heart stopping, jaw dropping action as the fences get higher and higher…

The Leading Show Jumper of the Year
Sunday 8 October
Perhaps one of the most prestigious prizes in British show jumping – last year it was won by Robert Maguire who will be back in the ring to defend his title.

The Horse & Hound Stand

Don’t forget to visit the H&H stand (B7D), where you can save up to 30% on a subscription and claim a free fleece rug at the same time. There are also some terrific prixes on offer, including Fit-Fit chaps, Harry Hall/ Masa gear, a Microtec rug and leg wraps and products from Spillers, Net Tex and Biotal.

With over 250 trade stands, no risk of wet feet and guaranteed top class show jumping, the Horse of the Year Show is destined to be a fantastic all-round equestrian experience. All-day tickets on Wednesday and Thursday range from £21.00 up to £39.50 together with discounts for children under 16 and OAPs.

For more information and online booking please visit www.hoys.co.uk or call the Box Office on 0870 777 4567.