British Open wild cards claimed

  • Helen Tredwell and David McPherson have clinched the last two places in this year’s British Open Show Jumping Championships (6 – 9 April).

    In a nail-biting qualifier at Addington Manor Equestrian Centre this weekend, impressive performances from Tredwell (Opportunity B) and McPherson (Bob’s Diamond) earned them coveted invitations to next week’s show at Sheffield’s Hallam FM Arena. More than £150,000 prize money is up for grabs in the event, with the winner receiving £25,000 — the biggest single prize in British show jumping.

    Current British Open Champion, Robert Smith, (pictured) will be defending his title from a line-up of elite riders. John, Michael, Robert and Ellen Whitaker will all be competing, as will fellow northerner Robert Maguire. Maguire finished second in the qualifier at Addington Manor this weekend and will be joined in Sheffield by Addington winner, Guy Williams. Young talent Ben Maher is also making the journey to Sheffield.

    Ten foreign riders have been invited to compete including Ireland’s Billy Twomey and Switzerland’s Markus Fuchs. Twomey and Fuchs both made it into the final round of last year’s competition, finishing third and fourth respectively. Four more foreign riders will be confirmed at the event.

    The British Open is a unique format with a championship class every day. After Saturday afternoon’s final qualifying round, the top 20 riders will go forward to contest the British Open Final on Sunday afternoon.

    A wide range of additional show jumping classes will be held during the four days including the International Accumulator on Friday and the breath-taking British Open Puissance on Saturday evening. There are also two classes for the top twenty under-23 riders in the country, supported by the BEF’s World Class Start and Potential Programme, and a unique indoor cross-country event featuring top event riders.

    For more information visit: www.britishopenshowjumping.com or contact box office (tel: 0114 256 5656). For groups of 12 or more please contact (tel: 0114 256 0440).

    British riders

    • Michael Whitaker (Nottingham)
    • Robert Smith (Warwickshire)
    • John Whitaker MBE (Yorkshire)
    • Ellen Whitaker (Yorkshire)
    • Robert Whitaker (Yorkshire)
    • Tim Stockdale (Northants)
    • Ben Maher (Essex)
    • Mark Armstrong(Surrey)
    • Guy Williams (Kent)
    • Tim Gredley (Suffolk)
    • Robert Maguire (Lancashire)
    • Geoff Luckett (Oxfordshire)
    • Helen Tredwell (Bucks)
    • David McPherson (Kent)

    Foreign Riders

    • Kristof Cleeren (BEL)
    • Dirk Demeersman (BEL)
    • Billy Twomey (IRL)
    • Leon Thijssen (NED)
    • Jurgen Stenfert (NED)
    • Leopold van Asten (NED)
    • Maryline Vorpe (SUI)
    • Markus Fuchs (SUI)
    • Florian Angot (FR)
    • Simon Delestre (FR)
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