1. The course at the brand new Maryland 5*
The Maryland 5 Star cross-country course for this week’s event has been designed by British multi-medallist and former event rider Ian Stark. A master of creating four-star tracks, this is Ian’s five-star design debut. There are 28 numbered fences including a fantastic – even if slightly disconcerting – crab on the way into the water, and what I think is an American Eagle cut out of a hedge in a step up from your average topiary. It’s impressive.
2. Laura Collett heading to Pau to defend her title
It was after winning Pau Horse Trials last year with London 52 that Laura Collett felt there was a chance for her and the horse at Tokyo Olympics, where they went on to won team gold – so no wonder she has warm feeling about the place. Laura is returning to the French five-star this autumn (27-31 October) to defend her title, this time riding Dacapo.
3. The Archie Legacy
The Archie Legacy, founded by Pammy Hutton and Islay Auty, with support from eventer Nick Gauntlett, will raise funds for a breeding project using frozen semen from Nick’s stallion Party Trick, who died along with three of Sophie Hulme’s talented event horses in an accident on the way to Blair Castle International Horse Trials on 24 August. The aim is to breed a son or daughter of Party Trick, a Sports Horse Breeding (GB) champion stallion by Chilli Morning, who could go on to compete at future Olympic Games.
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