Visitors to the Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials near Bakewell, Derbyshire this weekend will see a star-studded cast of world-class riders in action against the magnificent backdrop of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire’s family home.
The event will be a selection trial for this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil, and competitors from several nations will be hoping that a good performance around Chatsworth’s spectacular cross-country course will help secure a team place.
Britain’s leading rider is world number four William Fox-Pitt, a previous winner at Chatsworth, and he has horses entered in both classes including his 2015 Badminton winner, the magnificent chestnut stallion Chilli Morning, in the Dodson & Horrell Challenge.
Other leading British competitors include former world champion Zara Tindall, Gemma Tattersall, who produced a brilliant performance at Badminton last weekend to finish third and best Briton, Kristina Cook, a medalist in Beijing and London, plus Oliver Townend, Izzy Taylor, Kitty King, Laura Collett and Yorkshire rider Nicola Wilson.
The youngest rider in the three-star classes is 20-year-old Emily King, daughter of six-time British Olympian Mary King, who impressed when placed third in the Dodson & Horrell Challenge last year.
Australia is represented by the world number two Christopher Burton, New Zealand by world number three Tim Price and his wife, Jonelle, plus double Olympic champion Sir Mark Todd and regular Chatsworth winner Andrew Nicholson, and there is strong competition from France, Germany, Ireland, China, Belgium and the USA.
Chatsworth is delighted to be chosen to host the first competition in the inaugural Event Rider Masters (ERM), an exciting series of new-format competitions across Britain for the world’s top-ranked riders, in addition to the annual, prestigious Dodson & Horrell Challenge which always attracts a strong international entry.
‘All of us at Dodson & Horrell are really looking forward to this year’s event,’ said Sam Horrell, Dodson & Horrell’s Chief Executive. ‘The entry list is very impressive and it certainly promises some top-class competition. With the stage now set for three days of thrilling action and a host of attractions for all the family to enjoy, we know it will be an excellent weekend for both riders and spectators – we can’t wait!’
The action begins with dressage on Friday and there is show jumping and cross-country on both Saturday (novice) and Sunday (advanced), plus a host of family entertainment, including a dog show, sheep show, Pony Club Mounted Games, scurry driving, arena eventing and Newfoundland dog rescue, and a large variety of tradestands.
Adult day tickets on the gate are £12 Friday; £16 Saturday and £18 Sunday. Children under five get in free; children aged five to 14 inclusive are £5 each day.