With the competition season looming, we asked six top riders from across the disciplines to tell us which events they most look forward to
1. Anna Edwards, showjumper
The Royal International at Hickstead always holds a little magic for me. I have fond memories of winning the Queen Elizabeth II Cup on Unique IX in 2010 and seeing my name carved into the winners’ board in the ringside bar. It’s one of the few UK shows that benefits from great domestic TV coverage, so all my family and friends were able to watch me win — makes it an incredibly special moment.
2. Tina Fletcher, showjumper
I have two favourites! Olympia and Hickstead. Hickstead is such a unique venue with great facilities, with lots of open areas to go for a hack. It is also very lucky for me and the staff are always friendly. Olympia is also special. Because it’s before Christmas, it has a very friendly, cosy feeling. The home crowd support is always brilliant.
3. Piggy French, eventer
Burghley would have to be my favourite event. It is a great park and has such a friendly atmosphere. I always feel a lot of support there, as I was fairly local to it when I was based at my family home in Norfolk.
4. Oliver Townend, eventer
I would have to choose Burghley as my favourite event of the year in the UK. It is a lucky one for me [Oliver won Burghley in 2009 with Carousel Quest] and has a really friendly atmosphere for a four-star. I was also based in Stamford for a while, and I love the town.
5. Gareth Hughes, dressage rider
My favourite event of the year would have to be Somerford Park. The facilities there are brilliant and it is very well organised. There is a good atmosphere with great people.
6. Hannah Biggs, dressage rider
I do love Olympia. It has such a special atmosphere and it is always an honour and privilege to ride there. Riding through those curtains into the main arena is an incredible feeling. I will always remember fighting back the tears at the end of my kür with Weltzin, as the show just conjures up so much emotion. They also look after the grooms very well, which is so important to me. And of course the shopping is fabulous!