Jeanette Brakewell’s famous equine partner, Over To You, will be heading a world-class field in today’s Ford Ranger Eventing Grand Prix at the Longines Royal International Horse Show.
Over To You was retired from three-day eventing at Badminton this spring, but the 19-year-old will be out to show his younger rivals a clean pair of heels in Hickstead’s traditional head-to-head between event riders and show jumpers.
Jeanette Brakewell will be the penultimate rider to tackle the Hickstead course, which combines show jumps and permanent obstacles in the International Arena and knock-down cross-country fences across the River Lawn and out into the countryside beyond.
She will be followed by last year’s winner, Shane Breen riding Royal Concorde, who is only the second show jumper to have won the competition since its inception nine years ago. Other show jumpers taking part include DFS Derby winner Ben Maher (North Astor Group Sir Vine) and Steven Franks (Gold Crown).
The class will get underway with evergreen event rider Eddy Stibbe riding Dusky Moon. Other faces to look out for include previous winners Mark Kyle (Drunken Disorderly) and Gary Parsonage (Peter Street) along with Richard Waywood, who will be riding The Queen’s coloured eventer Peter Pan. Also in action will be Sarah Cohen aboard The Wexford Lady, Oliver Townend on Daisy Crazy, Matt Ryan with Slight Of Hand and Tina Cook riding First Flight.
The Hickstead team having been working hard to ensure that the show will go ahead despite the recent heavy rain. Yesterday’s classes that were due to take place in the International Area were moved to the all-weather to preserve the ground. Today a number of classes from outside rings will take place on the all-weather, but the major classes of the day will take place in the International Arena as planned.
A Hickstead spokesman told Horse & Hound Online: “The show is going great guns. We are not going to let the weather beat us.”
Stay in touch with the latest news and reports from Hickstead on horseandhound.co.uk and don’t miss H&H’s full in-depth reports in next week’s magazine (2 August, ’07)