Mark Phillips to design new eventing grand prix series

A new three-leg eventing grand prix series is to run at Bolesworth and Liverpool this year – with Mark Phillips confirmed as the course-designer.

Two qualifying legs will be held at the Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show (12 to 16 June) and the Bolesworth Young Horse Championships (14 to 18 August), with the top five riders in each class qualifying for the final at the Theraplate UK Liverpool International Horse Show (28 to 31 December).

“Having visited the Liverpool International Horse Show last year on New Year’s Eve, where the production exceeded all my expectations, I am delighted to be involved with this exciting new eventing grand prix series which will give event riders a fantastic opportunity to compete in a world class environment,” Mark said.

The invitational feature class on the evening of 13 June at Bolesworth, which has a £4,000 prize fund, will be a “fast and furious” competition, providing “great entertainment”, a spokesman for the show said.

It will involve 20 leading eventers taking on a course of showjumps and cross-country fences, against the clock in the international arena. The showjumping will be a maximum height of 1.25m, with time added for each one knocked down, with an optional 1.35m joker fence. The cross-country jumps will be at British Eventing intermediate level (1.20m).

“Last year’s Cazenove Capital Eventing Grand Prix proved a fantastic competition and this year we want to build on its success and make it part of a three-event series,” said Bolesworth International promoter Nina Barbour.

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“The second qualifier sits really well as part of the programme at the Bolesworth Young Horse Championship Show and the final will hopefully prove a real crowd-pleaser indoors at the Theraplate Liverpool International Horse Show at the M&S Bank Arena.

“I evented for a number of years, it is a fantastic sport and the eventing grand prix brings a new dynamic to all three of our shows.”

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