Olympians saddle up

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INTERNATIONAL Olympians could be heading back to Northumberland next month after the organisers of Burgham Horse Trials were asked to host two classes for a cancelled North Yorkshire event.

The festival will now include the Intermediate and Open Intermediate Eventing which should have run at Aske Horse Trials at the weekend, but were called off due to heavy rainfall.

It means up to another 150 top class riders competing on the opening day at Burgham on Friday, July 13, with organisers having just two weeks to prepare the intermediate course.

Competitors due to appear at Aske included members of the New Zealand, French, German, Finnish, Portuguese and British Olympic teams.

Burgham Horse Trials Organiser David Nicholson said: “We had a highly successful Advanced Event at Burgham in March, which included an Intermediate class, so we have a top-class course already in place and the ground has held up extremely well to all the recent rain.

“We were delighted to be asked by British Eventing to host these additional classes, which is a fresh tribute to the quality of the whole operation here at Burgham.

“I would appeal for volunteers to act as fence judges on the Friday afternoon to contact me at david@burghamhorsetrials.co.uk or by calling 0191 4328870, extension #1.

The Intermediate competition will add high class eventing to a packed three-day programme, which already includes Elite British Showjumping and nearly 600 British Eventing competitors.

Entries for the BE90 and BE100 classes on Saturday, July 14, are already full and there are just a handful of places left for the BE100, Novice and Five Year Old classes running on Sunday, July 15.

There will once again be an attractive £12,000 prize fund for the Elite British Showjumping highlight, the Burgham Classic Grand Prix, won last year by Louise Whitaker and sure to attract top riders from across the UK.

Other attractions will include the Burghley Dubarry Young Event Horse competition, a hound parade and a dog show.

A link to the Burgham page on the British Eventing website and the schedules and entry forms for the British Showjumping and Burghley Dubarry Young Event Horse competitions can be found on the event website at www.burghamhorsetrials.co.uk along with cut-price advance entry tickets, accommodation and stabling. Trade stand applications are also still open and are available by emailing david@burghamhorsetrials.co.uk or via the website.