Dressage for AP McCoy while Big Star and Valegro join parade of heroes at Cheltenham

  • Big Star, Valegro and Chilli Morning are set to make guest appearances at Cheltenham’s Countryside Day next month (15 November).

    Sir AP McCoy will also be trying his hand at dressage in a lesson with London 2012 Olympic team gold and individual bronze medallist Laura Tomlinson.

    The day is a fundraiser for the Countryside Alliance and also this year for Equestrian Team GBR, to raise money towards the expenses of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

    “I am very excited about giving AP a lesson on one of our homebred grand prix horses,” said Laura. “It should be very entertaining seeing how he handles a very different type of power to what he is used to!”

    The demonstration will take place at 11.45am in the parade ring, ahead of the racing.

    This is not Sir AP’s first foray into dressage at Cheltenham — in 2015, the 20-time champion jockey returned to the paddock for a lesson aboard Barolo with Charlotte Dujardin.

    “I don’t think AP has cantered this slowly in his life before,” said Yogi Breisner at the time.

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    Multiple Olympic gold medal-winners Big Star and Valegro and 2015 Badminton victor Chilli Morning will be parading for fans.

    They will be joined by dual Champion Chase winner Sprinter Sacre, one of the most successful and much-loved chasers of recent years, who completes the quartet of retired equine sporting heroes.

    A silent auction, which will start on 26 October and run until 15 November, is expected to be one of the main fundraisers. This will include money can’t buy lots, donated by top British riders.

    Gates open at 10.40am and racing starts at 12.30pm.

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

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