Kiwi eventers are competing on both sides of the channel this weekend, with events in France and the UK.
Sir Mark Todd is competing at Le Grand Complet at Haras du Pin in France with his team of Leonidas II, McClaren and Dusk til Dawn.
Fourteen-year-old Leonidas II, who will compete in the CIC3* placed seventh at the Rio Olympic Games and has been sixth and fourth at Badminton in the past two years and as well as in the top six at Burghley. Mark also lines up 11-year-old McClaren in the 3*, the horse he was second in the CCI3* at Saumur this year and top 10 at both Boekelo and Blair Castle last year.
There are 109 combinations from across the globe in the class, including former winners Nicolas Touzaint (FRA) and Maxime Livio (FRA) who will both be looking to make the most of their home advantage, along with Astier Nicolas. No Kiwi has won the 3* at Haras before.
There are 54 in the multi-nation CCI2* field where Mark has entered nine-year-old Dusk til Dawn.
Organisers are expecting 290 horses and 170 riders representing 20 countries from four continents and around 12,000 spectators at the event.
The first horse inspection is this evening followed by dressage in the 3* on Thursday and Friday, cross country on Saturday and showjumping on Sunday. Haras is also part of the FEI Nations Cup Series.
In the UK, there are 15 Kiwis competing at the Hartpury International Horse Trials.
Andy Daines and his 14-year-old Irish Sport horse Spring Panorama, who was top 10 at Adelaide last year, lines up in the CIC3* along with Ginny Thompson aboard her 14-year-old mare Star Nouveau. The combination completed Badminton this year and were also in the top 10 at Adelaide in 2017.
World number five Jonelle Price is in on her Badminton winner, 15-year-old Classic Moet, in the CIC3* along with husband and WEG Team mate Tim who will compete his nine-year-old Hanoverian Falco being their first time at this level.
Andrew Nicholson has both the well-performed 10-year-old Swallow Springs and 12-year-old Spanish-bred Teseo on the card.
The 3* is a big class and includes many a strong combination. Cross country course designer Eric Winter has sought to open things more to allow the public a better view of competition.
“We’ve removed the section that runs through the woods to bring the course more out into the open and utilise some of the other areas of the venue, including a brand new combination in front of the historic Hartpury House,” he says. “We’ve also created flat spots to build fences and keep the course inside the main park meaning spectators can sit on the hill and watch 90 per cent of the course.”
Much effort had also gone in to preparing the ground for this year’s course after the exceptionally dry summer.
Andrew is also contesting the CCI2* with Zacarias, As Is and Andrea BT4, along with Jesse Campbell on Diachello, Dan Jocelyn aboard Fjury, Bruce Haskell on Amiro Sky and Tim Rushbridge on Peaky Blinder.
Dan and Jesse are also on the CCI1* card aboard Duke of Champions and Morning Fawlty respectively. Dressage for all classes gets underway on Thursday.
WHAT: Hartpury International Horse Trials
WHERE: Hartpury, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
WHEN: August 8-12, 2018
MORE INFO: hartpuryhorsetrials.co.uk
WHAT: Le Grand Complet – concours complet d’equitation international
WHERE: Haras National du Pin, Orne, France
WHEN: August 9-14, 2018
MORE INFO: www.legrandcomplet.fr
The horse details:
Leonidas II – owned by Diane Brunsden, Peter Cattell and Sir Mark Todd
McClaren – owned by David and Katherine Thomson
Dusk til Dawn – owned by Sir Mark and Lady Todd
Falco – owned by Sue Benson
Spring Panorama – owned by Leanne and David Jensen and Andy Daines
Star Nouveau – owned by Elaine Butterworth, Anthony Quirk and Virginia Thompson
Classic Moet – owned by Trisha Rickards and Jonelle Price
Swallow Springs – owned by Paul and Diana Ridgeon
Teseo – owned by Phillip Channer and Andrew Nicholson
Zacarias – owned by Deborah Sellar and Anna Weir
Andrea BT4 – owned by Andrew Nicholson
Diachello – owned by Kent Gardner and Jesse Campbell
Fjury – owned by Dr Anna-Louise MacKinnon
Amiro Sky – owned by Judy and Tom Haskell and Bruce Haskell
Peaky Blinder – owned by Tim Rushbridge
Duke of Champions – owned by Philip Hunt, Therese Miller, Jo Preston-Hunt and Joyce Snook
Morning Fawlty – owned by Wendy Watherston
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison