Wiltshire-based New Zealander Andrew Nicholson is the man of the moment and the world’s top ranked rider (at number three) here this weekend after his spectacular Badminton victory last week – look out for him aboard his rising stars Swallow Springs, Byrnesgrove Diamond and Teseo.
Other top names to look out for include Pippa Funnell, the only rider to have won Chatsworth’s major class three times, British number one Oliver Townend, Olympic bronze medallists Sam Griffiths and Shane Rose from Australia, former world champion Zara Tindall, speedy Frenchman Thomas Carlile, former Kiwi Olympic champions Sir Mark Todd and Blyth Tait, leading German rider Bettina Hoy and Britain’s Badminton heroine Ros Canter, who made such a brilliant debut to finish fifth and best of the home riders.
Conditions look perfect in the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire’s spectacular parkland at Chatsworth. The cross-country courses have been verti-drained – a process in which angled spikes ease ground compaction – and course-designer David Evans, who has worked on the event for 18 years, reports the ground cover to be probably it’s ever been here.
Today (Friday), riders will be performing the dressage phase, a prelude to two days of cross-country action (Saturday and Sunday) plus plenty of lively family entertainment including dog agility, Pony Club Mounted Games, scurry driving, gundog displays and the Sheep Show and a fantastic array of shops. New this year, and sure to be popular, are a pottery painting tent and Circus Wizz, an interactive circus skills workshop – try your hand at juggling or walking on cup stilts!
For information on competitors’ start times, visit www.bdwp.co.uk/cha
Adult prices start at £10 per day; child prices start at £4 per day for under 14s, under 5s are free. All ticket types include admission to the event and car parking. Gates open 8am.
For more information, visit www.chatsworth.org/horse-trial...