Paul Tapner eyes record-breaking triple Hickstead win

Paul Tapner is aiming for a record back-to-back third win in Hickstead’s eventers’ challenge on Thursday (25 July).

The 2010 Badminton winner won the 2017 and 2018 MS Amlin Eventers’ Challenge aboard the eye-catching grey Bonza King Of Rouges.

The pair return to the Longines Royal International Horse Show to defend their title.

Hickstead director Lizzie Bunn said they “cannot wait” to see if Paul can set a new record.

“The Thursday of the Longines Royal International Horse Show is always an exciting day as we welcome the event riders to Hickstead,” she said.

“We can’t wait to see if Paul can set a new record, having become the first back-to-back winner of this class already.

“He was a man on a mission last year, and we’re expecting him to be even quicker this year.”

Last year’s runner-up Georgie Strang returns for another crack while Gemma Tattersall, who won the eventers’ class at Bolesworth in June, brings the star mare Chico Bella P.

Other major names on the start list include New Zealand’s Lucy Jackson, Ireland’s Joseph Murphy and Brits Alex Bragg, Jeanette Brakewell, Matthew Wright and Nick Gauntlett.

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They will take on the 18-fence course, which features several of Hickstead’s famous obstacles including the Devil’s Dyke, the Road Crossing, the less steep side of the Al Shira’aa Bank and the MS Amlin Irish Bank.

The brainchild of Douglas Bunn, Paul Schockemöhle and Robert Lemieux, the class was first held in 1998. It ran until 2014, but was reborn in its current format due to popular demand in 2015.

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