Olympic medallists back in action at Hartpury horse trials

  • Two of Britain’s Olympic gold medal-winning eventing team will be back in action this weekend when they contest the NAF Five Star International Hartpury Horse Trials (12-15 August).

    Fresh from their record-breaking performance in Tokyo, where they chalked up the lowest completion score in Olympic eventing history, both Oliver Townend and Tom McEwen will be appearing at the Gloucestershire event.

    Local rider Tom, who also added an individual silver medal to his team gold with Toledo De Kerser, rides Braveheart B in the NAF Five Star Magic CCI4*-S. Oliver will campaign two rides — Chapel House in the NAF Five Star M Power CCI2*-L and Davinci III in the NAF Five Star Magic CCI4*-S.

    The four-star line-up will feature multiple former Olympians and five-star event winners, including William Fox-Pitt, Tina Cook, Sam Griffiths, Jeanette Brakewell, Zara Tindall, Piggy March, Gemma Tattersall and Pippa Funnell.

    Pippa will be returning to Hartpury with her 2019 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials winner MGH Grafton Street. She will also bring two other rides, including Majas Hope, who finished 16th at Badminton in 2019.

    The cross-country course has been designed by Eric Winter, course-designer at Blenheim for 10 years before he took on the role at Badminton in 2017.

    “Following the disappointment of having to cancel the 2020 event due to the pandemic, we cannot wait to welcome the eventing community back to Hartpury,” said Phillip Cheetham, Hartpury’s equine director.

    “We’re thrilled to see such a stellar line-up of horses and riders across all three classes and are honoured to be welcoming two members of our brilliant Tokyo Olympic team. The cross-country course is looking fantastic and the ground conditions are ideal.”

    This year also marks the 10th anniversary of Hartpury’s relationship with title sponsor NAF, which has also since added its name to Hartpury’s other major summer equestrian events; the NAF Five Star Hartpury Festival of Dressage and NAF Five Star Hartpury Showjumping Spectacular.

    The action kicked off yesterday (12 August), following Wednesday’s preliminary horse inspection for CCI2*-L and CCI3*-L competitors. Dressage was running yesterday and today, followed by cross-country on Saturday.

    CCI4*-S competitors will show jump on Saturday with the CCI2*-L and CCI3*-L rounding off the action with their showjumping on Sunday.

    Entry to the event for spectators is free on Thursday and Friday, £10 per person on Saturday and £5 per person on Sunday. Owing to Covid-19 regulations, all those wishing to attend (even on free days) must register via Eventbrite.

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