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British Open box office opens

The box office for the British Open Show Jumping Championships (15-18 April, 2004) is now open and individuals who buy their tickets before 16 January will be entered into a prize draw to win a riding surface worth £10,000, including free installation, courtesy of Equestrian Surfaces.

This year’s show at the Hallam FM Arena, Sheffield, has a prize fund of more than £160,000 and is expected to attract riders from around the world. Visitors can look forward to watching Britain’s top 12 showjumpers compete against a host of leading international riders in an attempt to claim the British Open Champion crown from defending champion Robert Whitaker.

Alongside international show jumping of the highest calibre, the show will include displays to entertain the whole family, plus the chance to enjoy some retail therapy.

The infamous Jean Francois Pignon, a favourite with the crowds at the Horse of the Year Show, will be making his debut at the British Open with his beautiful grey horses. The spellbinding bond between this man and his horses never fails to amaze.

The Metropolitan police will also be demonstrating the impressive level of training and trust between horse and rider, as eight active police officers and their mounts astonish the crowd with incredible stunts, such as jumping through hoops of fire, in the force’s only public display of the year.

The crowds will also be treated to dressage to music with a twist, thanks to Mary Ray’s “heelwork to music” demonstration. Mary is one of the UK’s most highly regarded dog handlers and her performance will include a display by a dressage horse and rider.

Other entertainment for the crowds will include the Horseball European Challenge, a sport which combines the thrills and spills of polo with rugby, plus top class scurry driving, with pairs of ponies flying around a course of cones against the clock.

Tickets cost from £12.50-£35 for adults, with children and OAPs half price, plus booking fee. For more information, or to book tickets, call the box office (tel: 0114 256 5656) or visit: www.britishopenshowjumping.com

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