Grand National-winning jump jockey Jim Culloty will be taking a longer trip than normal when he lines up for the Hilton Herbs Alfred’s Tower endurance event (8-10 August) on Sunday.
Jim, who may wish he was saddling up for a quick breeze round nearby Wincanton instead, will be raising funds for the charity Spinal Research when he joins a team for the 34km (20-mile) riding club championship.
Not content with trying his hand at a new sport, Jim is sure to make a statement, as he will be partnering a flamboyant Paso Fino as part of a team representing the breed.
Some 18 teams have entered the popular riding club event, which will take in some stunning countryside from the base at the National Trust’s Stourhead Estate in Somerset.
Sizeable entries are also expected from both Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s stables for the 140km (80-mile) race. The top prize here is an all expenses paid entry to next year’s UAE President’s Cup.
The event has 14 classes ranging in distance from 20-80 miles and includes the final selection class for the British Young rider team, which will contest the European Championships in Rome this autumn. Around 14 young riders will be vying for a team place during this 102km ride.
The winner of the FEI 100km two-star event will take home an endurance saddle worth £1,500. Gaston Mercier, a leading saddler in France and former European champion, has donated this prize.
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