Stars are out in force for Houghton International
- Credit: Archant
The action at Houghton International gets underway today, with a thrilling event in store heading up to the bank holiday weekend.
Affiliated eventing entries are up on last year, with Olympians including William Fox-Pitt, Zara Phillips, Andrew Hoy, Sir Mark Todd and Blyth Tait all entering the fray.
Houghton International also hosts the British leg of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup competition – a global team event run over seven legs in seven nations.
Teams from Great Britain, Germany, France, Australia and New Zealand will battle for supremacy. Germany currently tops the rankings, ahead of France and Italy.
As Media partners, EQ Life is hosting an Equine Forum, interviewing well known riders, stall holders and sponsors, so there is bound to be an opportunity for autograph hunting and much more.
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There's lots to do for all the family at Houghton, as well as spotting the big names, you can also see local riders in action and spot some horses of the future, with top riders bringing their younger horses.
Suzuki GB is supporting the Houghton International Horse Trials for the eighth consecutive year and to celebrate their long association they are providing the 12-month loan of a KingQuad 400 to the owner of the highest placed horse in the CCI** who has a British based owner.
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'We feel extremely privileged to be involved with such a prestigious event for another year and to have the chance to touch base with our equestrian customers,' said Gareth Lumsdaine, ATV Sales and Marketing Manager, Suzuki GB.
Alec Lochore, the organiser of the trials, said: 'We are delighted to be offering this amazing prize from Suzuki and are we extremely grateful for their continued support.'
The Norfolk Festival of Showing is also being hosted at Houghton with classes for every one, starting with RIHS qualifiers tomorrow for ridden, workers and retired racehorses through to a full Saturday programme including in-hand, ridden, workers, veterans and side saddle classes.
One enforced change in judging has been caused by the sad news that Tiny Clapham has not recovered in time from a broken leg sustained at Burnham Market. Her place in the Retired Racehorse class will be taken by Beanie Sturgis, just back from a successful Badminton.
Showjumping will be underway from Friday to Sunday. There is a wide range of classes with affiliated showjumping at Houghton for the first time with a prize pot of £4,500, point trophies and leading rider awards. Showjumping enquiries should be directed to Norfolk Showjumping Club on 07585 747717.
For more information on any aspect to this year's Houghton International Horse Trials, visit www.houghtoninternational.co.uk and, don't forget, entries are still being taken on the day for both the showing and showjumping classes.