Mark Todd challenges jockeys to a Barbury battle

  • Two of the biggest names in the horse world will go head to head at the JCB Champions Challenge at Barbury International Horse Trials next month (9 July) – and Mark Todd is confident he can “get one over” on his opponents.

    The annual Barbury battle is fiercer than ever this year, as Mark and Richard Johnson prepare to square up as respective captains of the eventers and jockeys teams in a race run over a specially designed course.

    The race is run in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF), which is H&H’s charity of the year.

    Joining Richard Johnson are 2015 Hennessy gold cup winner Wayne Hutchinson, Tom Scudamore and John Francome, who is vice-patron of the IJF.

    The jump jockeys taking part have been training hard, hoping to retain their crown for the third year running.

    “In the summer, we jump jockeys try to take things a bit easier – but not this year. Myself, Hutchinson, Scudamore and Francome are in serious training and can’t wait to lay down the gauntlet to the eventers,” said Richard.

    “I may be advancing in years, but I am confident I can get one over on Francome – as he is even more advancing than me,” responded Mark, who is three years younger than the 63-year-old former multiple champion jump jockey.

    Mark’s team includes fellow New Zealand Olympians Jonelle and Tim Price and Australian Paul Tapner, winner of the 2010 Badminton Horse Trials.

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    The final two teams in the challenge will be the winning junior and senior teams from the inter-hunt relay, which is held on the same day.

    The St James’s Place Barbury International Horse Trials (7-10 July) is also hosting the third leg of the Event Rider Masters series.

    Day tickets start at £12 per person in advance; for more details visit barburyhorsetrials.co.uk or call 01672 516125

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