Top riders head for Bramham

The Guardian Collections Bramham Horse Trials (5-8 June), which takes place in the wonderful setting of Bramham Park, has attracted many top riders from around the world, with entries from as far afield as Japan, Bermuda and Portugal.

David and Karen O’Connor, from the USA, will spearhead the overseas challenge, while double Badminton winner Pippa Funnell, riding her 2002 Saumur winner, Jurassic Rising, will head the home side.

Horse & Hound columnist William Fox-Pitt has two horses, while the rest of the European Championships squad — Jeanette Brakewell, Leslie Law, Kristina Cook and Polly Stockton — will all be in action.

The Elite Colleges under-25 section, won last year by Zara Phillips, will be contested by the whole of the 2002 young rider team, as well as former young rider gold medallist Piggy French, former junior team member Hayley Rose and Polly Jackson, who won the under-25 award at Badminton.

Pippa Funnell must be a short-priced favourite for victory, but this is a quality field and she will have to fight hard to retain her title.

Bramham is one of Ian Stark’s favoured events and he describes this year’s course as “an ‘up to standard’ three-star course with the problems interspersed with a smattering of confidence-boosting ‘easy’ jumps.

“This is the third year that course designer Sue Benson is in control of the Guardian Collections Bramham Horse Trials, and I believe she has now really stamped the course as her own.”

Visit H&H at Bramham

Spectators have the chance to win £1,000 worth of Harry Hall clothing in a free prize draw on the Horse & Hound stand (stand 126) at this year’s event. They can also take advantage of a 30% discount on Horse & Hound subscriptions, plus a free bottle of Balvenie whisky is available for those taking out a two-year subscription or subscribing by direct-debit.

Bramham Fact File

Thursday, 5 June: Competition horse and young stock classes 8.30am; CCI dressage 9am; hunter show 12pm

Friday, 6 June: CCI dressage, 9am; BYEH, 10.30am

Saturday, 7 June: CCI senior and under-25 speed and endurance 8.30am; BSJA show jumping 1.45pm

Sunday, 8 June: CCI seniors trot-up 8.30am; CCI under-25s trot-up 9.30am; CCI seniors show jumping 10am; CCI under-25 parade and show jumping 10.45am; under-25 prize giving 12pm; Mix & Match class 12.15pm; senior CCI show jumping (top 25) 1.30pm; BSJA accumulator 1.45pm; senior CCI prize giving 2.30pm; parade of hounds 3pm; BSJA grand prix 3.15pm; Pony Club games 3.30pm

Tickets cost £7 (Thursday and Friday), £12 (Saturday) and £10 (Sunday). Children aged 12 years and under are free.

For more information visit: www.bramham-horse.co.uk

Read Ian Stark’s views on this year’s challenging cross-country course at Bramham in this week’s Horse & Hound (29 May), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week and pay less than if you bought it at the newsagents.

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