THE Land Rover Gatcombe Park Novice and Intermediate Horse Trials, this Saturday and Sunday near Minchinhampton, is once again a key fixture for international riders as they build up their spring campaign looking for qualification results.
Riders from 15 nations are represented – Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA – within the 500-plus strong entry.
Leading riders entered include Britain’s William Fox-Pitt and Oliver Townend, together with famous New Zealanders Blyth Tait and Andrew Nicholson, who are joined by Frenchman Leonard Goerens.
Local regulars include Julie Tew, Harry Meade, Chris King and Kitty King.
Also entered are another pair of Kings who come from Somerset. Mary is the mother and Emily the daughter.
Mary has successfully represented Great Britain on many occasions at European, World and Olympic Championships.
Now in its 22nd year of running, the event takes place on a course designed by HRH The Princess Royal and her event organiser Pattie Biden, utilising a different area of the Gatcombe Park Estate to that used by the Festival of British Eventing in July.
Starting at 9am on both days, dressage, show jumping and cross-country phases run throughout.
At various times during both days, HRH The Princess Royal will present prizes.
Spectator admission is £6 for a car and all occupants, and £4 for a programme.
The box office is now open for The Festival of British Eventing, presented by the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA), held at Gatcombe Park (1-3 August).
An action-packed weekend is being planned at The Festival, which has retained its international CIC*** status for 2014 with three highly contested Championship classes fought over the three days.