From Atomic Kitten to jockeys racing jumpers, take a look at why you should be making a beeline for the four-star international show in Cheshire this week (15-19 June)
1. Adding true international flavour to the showjumping action, top riders will descend on Bolesworth Castle, including Brits Scott Brash, Nick Skelton and Michael and William Whitaker, while Cian O’Connor, Billy Twomey and Dermott Lennon make up some of the Irish contingent. The USA’s Laura Kraut and Italian Lorenzo de Luca are just a few of the overseas riders making the trip to Cheshire. Young showjumper Yazmin Pinchen will be returning to the venue in a bid to win the feature grand prix (Sunday, 19 June) for a second year running — this year with a prize pot of £60,000.
2. Dressage stars Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin will head a stellar line-up in the dressage to music class on Thursday, 16 June — 50 days ahead of the Rio Olympics. Carl and Charlotte’s London 2012 gold medal-winning team-mate Laura Tomlinson, plus Richard Davison, will also be in contention.
3. Saturday evening (18 June) is party night at Bolesworth and Atomic Kitten — yes, the original trio — will be the headline act. Nineties British boy band 5ive and tribute band Re-Take That will also be performing during the five-day show.
4. Watch top National Hunt jockeys go head-to-head with the showjumpers in the international arena during the jockey challenge on Thursday, 16 June.
5. New in 2016 for spectators at Bolesworth is the equine zone, which will incorporate the fanzone, featuring regular rider guest appearances and photo opportunities, and the learning zone, offering free educational talks from a panel of experts.
6. Getting the hump — the final day’s entertainment on Sunday, 19 June, includes exciting camel racing in the international arena.
7. Para showjumping makes its debut at Bolesworth International on Saturday, 18 June. Watch a host of inspirational riders compete in the castle arena.
8. The 130 retail outlets at this year’s show will certainly satisfy any horsey shopaholics.
9. The big red wall makes a return to the international arena this year with the puissance taking place on the evening of Friday, 17 June. It was won jointly in 2015 by Ireland’s David Simpson and Norway’s Victoria Gulliksen, who cleared 6ft 10in.
10. The Friday night (17 June) will also feature the Bolesworth Elite Auction, during which 12 of the finest yearlings sourced from across Europe will be up for sale.
11. Dress to impress — ladies visiting on Thursday, 16 June should don their best attire because a team of celebrities, headed by Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle, will be on the lookout for Miss Bolesworth 2016.
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12. Children and their ponies will be paired up with professional showjumpers for the fancy dress mini major challenge on Sunday, 19 June, which was won last year by Geoff Billington, dressed as Superman, and youngster Martha Hughes.