Spectators at the Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials will have the chance to watch many of the world’s top riders in action as the event, held at the spectacular home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, has received a bumper entry.
The prestigious Dodson & Horrell Challenge is now split across three sections, with competitors representing 13 nations, many of whom will be hoping to catch their team selectors’ eye for the World Equestrian Games in the USA in September.
Top French rider Gwendolen Fer travels to Chatsworth for the first time with her horse Romantic Love, winner of Pau, France’s premier event. Japan, host of the 2020 Olympic Games, is well represented by Toshiyuki Tanaka and New Zealand fields two Olympic champions in Sir Mark Todd and Blyth Tait plus former world number one Andrew Nicholson and the talented husband-and-wife duo of Tim and Jonelle Price.
Chatsworth is also proud to host the first leg of the 2018 Event Rider Masters series, which includes competitions in France, Belgium and Germany plus a final at Blair Castle in Scotland.
Gemma Tattersall scored an emphatic win in this contest last year and will be hoping to defend her title on the grey mare Quicklook V. Gemma, the 2017 series winner, will, however, face stiff competition from top French riders Astier Nicolas and Maxime Livio, plus Australia’s Olympic medalists Christopher Burton and Sam Griffiths and Sweden’s Ludwig Svennerstal.
Britain’s best should also give the home crowd something cheer about, with the presence of European team gold medalists Nicola Wilson, Ros Canter and Oliver Townend, plus Piggy French, Pippa Funnell, Sarah Bullimore and former world number one William Fox-Pitt.
There is cross-country action on both Saturday – a packed day of international novice competition as well as Advanced – and Sunday; course-designers David Evans, who is building the track for the Tokyo Olympics, and former Olympian Ian Stark have prepared their usual imaginative challenges that riders relish.
If you can tear yourself away from what promises to be thrilling competition, Chatsworth offers the usual varied fun family entertainment, with gundogs, ferrets, birds of prey, dog agility and the Sheep Show, plus great shopping and food stalls.
“All of us at Dodson & Horrell are really looking forward to this year’s event,” said Sam Horrell, CEO at Dodson & Horrell. “The entry list is very impressive and it certainly promises some top-class competition. With the stage now set for three days of eventing and a host of attractions for all the family to enjoy, we all know it will be an excellent weekend for both riders and spectators – we can’t wait!”
Day tickets on the gate for Saturday and Sunday are £20 for adults and £5 for children aged 5-14. Children under the age of five are free. All tickets include free parking. Discounted tickets are available to buy online up until 6 May.
For more information, visit www.chatsworth.org/horse-trials