A fantastic week of sport is in the offing, headed by the showjumping and dressage World Cup Final and, of course, the Grand National…
1. FEI World Cup Finals
Dates: 6-10 April
More info: fei.org/events/fei-world-cup-finals-2022-leipzig
How to watch: available for premium members to stream at clipmyhorse.tv
Get the H&H lowdown: extensive online coverage during the event from our reporter on site in Leipzig, plus full reports in the 14 April magazine issue
Why we’re excited about it: this the the first World Cup Final to go ahead since 2019, and also the first time since 2011 that the finals of four disciplines (dressage, jumping, vaulting and driving) have been held at the same venue. Britain is well represented in jumping, with John Whitaker, Harry Charles and Jack Whitaker all in with a shout of a podium place. The likes of Steve Guerdat, Martin Fuchs and Marcus Ehning are also in action. Meanwhile, Olympic and European medallist Lottie Fry will fly the flag for Britain in a top-class dressage World Cup Final field; she and Dark Legend will be up against Olympic champion Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, Cathrine Dufour and the formidable Isabell Werth – who’ll be targeting a fourth consecutive World Cup title.
2. Randox Grand National Festival, Aintree Racecourse, Merseyside
Dates: 7-9 April
More info: thejockeyclub.co.uk/aintree/events-tickets/grand-national/
How to watch: ITV Racing will be showing the racing live every afternoon on ITV1 with The Opening Show broadcast on ITV4 at 9.30am on all three days
Get the H&H lowdown: online coverage plus a bumper report in the magazine with exclusive insight from Marcus Armytage and dual Grand National-winning jockey Davy Russell
Why we’re excited about it: the £1m Randox Grand National is the race the country stops for, with the beautiful grey Snow Leopardess, owned by the Fox-Pitt family, hotly tipped to become the first mare to win the race since Nickel Coin in 1951.
3. Blue Chip Winter Showjumping Championships, Hartpury University Equestrian Centre, Glos
Dates: 6-10 April
More info: bluechipchamps.co.uk/finals/
How to watch: livestreaming from every day of the show at clipmyhorse.tv/en_GB/
Get the H&H lowdown: we’ll be bringing you the latest news from the championships at horseandhound.co.uk and rounding up all the action in a special report in the following week’s magazine (in the shops Thursday 14 April)
Why we’re excited about it: all roads have led to Hartpury this winter as qualifying tickets have been issued up and down the country and the five-day show is finally here. There are wall-to-wall championships and Friday’s Gala Evening, featuring the Blue Chip grand prix, is not to be missed.
4. BSPS Area 15 Spring Show, Ashfields Carriage & Polo Club, Essex
Date: 9 April
More info: bspsarea15.co.uk
Get the H&H lowdown: full report in the 21 April issue of the magazine
Why we’re excited about it: Royal International Horse Show qualifiers for hacks, riding horses, cobs, show ponies, show hunter ponies, lead reins, first riddens, working hunter ponies, intermediates and mountain and moorland ponies. The show concludes with a supreme pony championship, sponsored by the Bryce Family, with £100 presented to the champion and £50 to the reserve. Entries are still open until 7 April.
5. Weston Park Horse Trials, Shropshire
Date: 9-10 April
More info: event website or schedule on British Eventing website plus results at eventingscores.co.uk
Get the H&H lowdown: read our report in the 14 April issue of the magazine
Why we’re excited about it: a good old-fashioned horse trials, run by passionate organisers in Janet Plant and her daughter Vicky, who do this for love rather than as a business. The two flagship advanced sections are headed up by the likes of Badminton Horse Trials entrants Ballaghmor Class (Oliver Townend), Toledo De Kerser (Tom McEwen) and Arctic Soul (Gemma Tattersall).
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