‘I can’t wait’: Jonty Evans and Art to return to Belton

Jonty Evans and Cooley Rorkes Drift are to be reunited in public for the first time since Jonty’s fall, at Belton International Horse Trials next month.

On Saturday, 30 March, Jonty and “Art” will return to the Lincolnshire event’s main arena, where they won the CIC3* Lycetts Grantham Cup last year.

Jonty, who jumped cross-country fences on Art last weekend for the first time since he fell at Tattersalls last June, said he “can’t wait”.

“Apart from anything else, Art loves a crowd; I want him to see people,” he told H&H.

“I’ve ridden horses who react to the crowd, and not in a good way, but he loves them; he’s better when people are watching.”

Stuart Buntine, managing director of Belton organiser Bede Events, ran a fundraiser for Jonty’s treatment at Osberton International Horse Trials, which the team also runs, last year.

“Stuart and his team have been absolutely amazing,” Jonty said. “What they did for me at Osberton was enormous.”

Jonty had recovered enough from the injury he sustained last June to attend the Osberton fundraiser, An EQuestion of Sport, which raised over £10,000 for his rehabilitation. Jonty now raises money for the David Foster Injured Riders Fund.

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“Jonty is a true legend and we are delighted that he has made such a remarkable recovery,” Stuart said. “We are looking forward to seeing him back at Belton.

“Eventing is a thrilling, but dangerous sport. We aim is to ensure we have provision set up for when accidents such as Jonty’s occur.”

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

In this week’s edition (28 February) you will find our show directory special part one, with a free British Showjumping ticket to ride, an interview with eventer Tom Jackson and details of Hannah Francis’s legacy.