Zara Tindall and Watkins are among the 20 British pairs entered to contest the flagship class at Luhmühlen (13-16 June).
The former European and world champion returns to eventing’s top level after a year away — she had her second daughter, Lena, in June last year and only took part in a few events in the autumn. Judith Luff’s Watkins, a 13-year-old, makes his debut at five-star (previously four-star) having spent 2018 with Tom McEwen. Having rejoined Zara, he finished 10th in an advanced section at Burnham Market in April this year.
Sarah Bullimore has two rides, bringing forward established campaigner Reve Du Rouet and up-and-coming ride Conpierre, while Andrew James also has a pair of horses in the mix in Cool Chica and Hold Me Down.
Tina Cook will pilot Calvino II, while last year’s Blenheim winners Isabella Innes Ker and Carolyn make their debut at five-star level. World team gold medallist Tom McEwen has Grantham Cup winner Figaro Van Het Broekxhof entered.
Ireland looks set to field four entries, including an interesting pair for world team silver medallist Sam Watson. The dun Tullabeg Flamenco was second after showjumping in last weekend’s Event Rider Masters at Chatsworth, before dropping out of contention with a run-out cross-country, while Imperial Sky has already won a CCI4*-S (previously CIC3*) at Ballindenisk this spring.
Australia’s Sam Griffiths will start on the experienced Paulank Brockagh, as promised when he withdrew her from Badminton.
New Zealand’s Tim Price will make his fourth top-level start of this spring when he brings forward Ascona M, while compatriot Mark Todd will ride Kiltubrid Rhapsody, who was sixth at Badminton last year.
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As is common at Luhmühlen, many of the top German riders are entered in the CCI4*-S (previously CIC3*) rather than the CCI5*, but Dirk Schrade is set to start on Bettina Hoy’s star Designer 10, who has until now been piloted by his owner. Also in the CCI5*, Frank Ostholt will ride Jum Jum, a nine-year-old first-timer at this level, and Andreas Ostholt brings forward the experienced FRH Butts Avedon.
Japan continues to show its growing strength on the world eventing stage, with three five-star entries in Yosiaki Oiwa (2017 Bramham winner Calle 44), Kenki Sato (Shanaclough Contadora) and Kazuma Tomato on Brookpark Vikenti, with whom he won a CCI4*-S at Chatsworth.
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