Riders from hunts across the country could have the chance to go up against their heroes of the racing and eventing worlds in a challenge at Barbury Horse Trials next month (11 July).
Twenty-time champion jockey AP McCoy is getting back into the saddle for his first public appearance on horseback since he retired in April.
AP will be leading a team of jockeys to take on a team of eventers, lead by New Zealand Olympian Andrew Nicholson.
And the two professional teams will also be taking on the hunts. The winning junior and senior teams from the inter-hunt relay, held earlier in the day, will form the final two teams in the JCB Champions Challenge. These two teams will then have the chance to demonstrate their speed and jumping skills in Barbury’s main arena, riding against the jockeys and eventers.
Backing up AP in the jockeys team will be 22-year-old Sam Twiston-Davies, H&H racing columnist Richard Johnson, and Wayne Hutchinson, stable jockey to Barbury Castle trainer Alan King.
In the eventers team will be Andrew, who has won Barbury’s three-star competition for the past three years, and his Kiwi teammate Sir Mark Todd. They will be joined by H&H columnist Harry Meade and Olympian Tina Cook.
In last year’s competition the jockeys were victorious, with a team spearheaded by former champion jockey John Francome. Noel Fehily stepped up to the plate to stand in for injured AP. Now AP is taking part, can the jockeys do the double?
The jockeys last year took on eventers, show jumpers and a team from the VWH hunt, who qualified in the inter-hunt relay.
“The hunt gave us a real run for our money, the boys certainly need to watch out for their day jobs, but where were the eventers? Did they show up? We barely broke a sweat against them!” said John Francome at the time.
Hunt teams taking part in the hunt scurry competition at Barbury are also invited to raise sponsorship in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund. The team that raises the most will win a premier box for 25 at Cheltenham Racecourse at the hunter chase evening fixture in May 2016.
The St James’s Place Wealth Management Barbury International Horse Trials takes place from 9-12 July. The JCB Champions Challenge takes place on Saturday 11 July.
For information visit: www.barburyhorsetrials.co.uk