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Elite young horses up for grabs

Buyers from across the globe will congregate in Buckinghamshire this weekend for the Brightwells European Sale of Dressage Horses and Show Jumpers 2003.

“This is one of the most successful auctions in Europe,” says Richard Botterill of auctioneers Brightwells, who is currently preparing for the event at Addington Manor Equestrian Centre in Buckingham. “It attracts buyers of many nationalities, including Japanese and American, and of course British.”

The 50-plus top quality horses listed for auction include mainly three- and four-year-old potential dressage and show jumping horses. “We select horses from across Europe,” explains Richard. “There is a very strict criteria for selection, and upon arrival all horses undergo a full vetting.”

Sale prices vary widely, starting from around £5,000, and Brightwells hopes that this opens the auction to a wide range of buyers. However, many horses sell for substantially higher prices. “Recently a couple have sold for £40,000, and our highest sale price so far was £86,000 for a dressage horse,” says Richard, who is optimistic that some of this year’s horses will fetch good prices.

The event this weekend also features the Korenbloem £10,000 Dressage Challenge 2003 and Genus Equine £10,000 Show Jumping Challenge 2003, which are competitions exclusively for horses bought at Brightwells auctions. Horses sold this year will be eligible for the competitions in 2004.

The dressage challenge has been running since 1998, one year after the auction for dressage horses was established. “There are about 36 entries this year, and the prize money is very generous for four- and five-year-olds,” says Richard. “Peter Storr rode the 2002 winner, and is attending again this year on Go Dutch, a horse he bought at one of our auctions in August last year.”

Brightwells only started selling show jumpers at auction in 2002, so the 2003 Genus Equine £10,000 Show Jumping Challenge is the first of its kind. With an entry of 16, it promises to be a strong competition.

The challenges take place this Saturday (22 November), and the auction on Sunday. Both are ticket events (grandstand tickets can be bought on the day for £10 either day or £15 for both; VIP tickets must be ordered in advance). For further information and tickets contact Brightwells (tel: 01432 355300) or visit: www.brightwellsequine.co.uk

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