From exciting new competition concepts at Thoresby Park Horse Trials to Scotland’s very own Grand National, we present to you the best of horse sport this week…
1. Eventing Spring Carnival at Thoresby Park Horse Trials, Notts
Dates: 31 March-3 April
More info: event website or schedule on British Eventing website
Get the H&H lowdown: read all about it in the magazine dated 7 April
Why we’re excited about it: Thoresby plays host to the first international classes of the British season, including the Lycetts Grantham Cup CCI4*-S, which will serve as a warm-up for a host of Badminton Horse Trials-entered horses, including Tokyo Olympic gold medallists London 52 (Laura Collett) and Ballaghmor Class (Oliver Townend). The class also features host to a new match play contest, in which teams from Great Britain and the rest of the world compete, with competitors riding head to head with their respective counterpart in the three phases. There’s also a new Animalintex leading rider award, a new trophy in honour of Olympic horse Rock Model and the British Eventing Support Trust launch ball, again sponsored by Lycetts, on Saturday evening.
2. British Show Pony Society Area 13A RIHS qualifying spectacular, Duchy College, Cornwall
Date: 3 April
More info: bspsarea13a.weebly.com
Get the H&H lowdown: full report in 14 April issue of the magazine
Why we’re excited about it: Area 13A’s qualifying spectacular will offer competitors ample opportunity to vie for coveted Royal International Horse Show tickets. Horse qualifiers will conclude in a separate horse supreme, while championed ponies can compete for the pony supreme. Winning members of Area 13A will go forward to the members’ supreme, where a £50 prize will be awarded to the champion.
3. Coral Scottish Grand National, Ayr Racecourse, Scotland
Dates: Saturday 2 April
More info: ayr-racecourse.co.uk
How to watch: ITV Racing
Get the H&H lowdown: read the full report from Ayr’s two-day meeting in the 7 April issue of the magazine
Why we’re excited about it: Scotland’s very own Grand National comes just a week before the Aintree race and is the biggest day of the jumps season north of the border, also featuring the Coral Scottish Champion Hurdle. The feature race was won last year by Scottish trainer Lucinda Russell with Mighty Thunder, who heads to Aintree this year, and it is Wales handler Christian Williams who seems to hold all the aces for this year’s race with leading fancies Kitty’s Light and Win My Wings.
4. Week 12 of the Winter Equestrian Festival, Palm Beach, Florida, USA
Dates: 30 March – 3 April
More info: pbiec.coth.com
How to watch: live streamed on the show website pbiec.coth.com/category/live_streams
Get the H&H lowdown: extensive coverage at horseandhound.co.uk/tag/winter-equestrian-festival and highlights of the week’s events in the 7 April issue of the magazine
Why we’re excited about it: it’s the 12th and final week of the Winter Equestrian Festival and the competition ramps up for the concluding five days of five-star competition where the world’s best riders will be bidding for glory in the final grand prix of the series.
5. Dressage Festival Opglabbeek CDI4*, Belgium
Dates: 30 March – 3 April
More info: sentowerpark.com
How to watch: live stream available via Clip My Horse TV
Get the H&H lowdown: highlights in 14 April issue of the magazine
Why we’re excited about it: the European outdoor dressage season gets underway with a competitive contingent of Brits heading to Belgium, including Lottie Fry with Glamourdale and her 2021 team horse Everdale on his first outing since the European Championships. Laura Tomlinson, Lara Butler and Dan Watson will be in action for Britain, too, plus several youth riders.
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