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Controversial Express Eventing competition will run again

The controversial Express Eventing competition will be next year — in a different venue and different format.

Organiser Stuart Buntine has confirmed to H&H rumours that the competition will run again next year.

Express Eventing was devised by Mr Buntine as a “showcase” for the sport. Held in Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium last November, spectators watched dressage to music then show jumping and a back-to-back, against-the-clock cross-country round — that featured more misses than hits.

While winner Oliver Townend pocketed a £100,000 first prize, Mary King left Cardiff without her medal-winning partner Call Again Cavalier, who broke his femur while jumping a cross-country fence and had to be euthanased.

Spectators and riders acknowledged the concept was good — but all agreed there were “a lot of lessons to be learned”.

Mr Buntine told H&H: “The one-seat-sees-all concept will still be key to it, but it will be very a different competition. I’ve had extensive discussions with riders and many different people within the sport about what worked and what didn’t work.”

Mr Buntine said he is close to signing agreements about the competition, and will announce more details within “two to three weeks”.

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