British team riders to strut their stuff at Downham

Next weekend's Maxavita Little Downham International event has received over 1000 entries for the weekend, but regrettably a large number of local riders, who are the grassroots of the sport, have been denied a chance to compete at the lower levels due to the compact nature of the venue and the fact numbers are limited each day.

There is a wonderful international entry with competitors from 12 countries competing. Saturday has a strong advanced class running in support of the CIC2*, and will include British team riders Piggy French, Pippa Funnell, Tina Cook, Daisy Berkeley, Sharon Hunt and Francis Whittington in addition to Lucinda Fredericks and Andrew Hoy from Australia, and Frank and Andreas Ostholt from Germany.

There are also riders from Thailand, Sweden, New Zealand, Portugal and Ireland who have chosen to include Little Downham in their preparation for London 2012. The wet spring has caused chaos to the April eventing schedule, so an additional OI class has been added to enable any combination who has missed a preparation outing to have a warm-up before the Houghton Hall International event the following week.

Saturday also provides an opportunity to see the young horses in action running in the Lycetts five-year-old qualifier which has a very high quality field of potential superstars of the future.

Competition will take place over three days, with Novice and Intermediate classes on Friday, alongside the dressage phase for the CIC2*, and Novice along with BE100 taking place on Sunday. Saturday will be very exciting with the climax of the CIC2* and all phases of the advanced class.

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Spectators are welcome and with excellent viewing around the whole XC course, and a very compact layout all areas of the event are easily accessible. Dogs are also welcome, but only on a short lead to ensure the safety of the competitors.

Parking costs �10 per car and includes all occupants.

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