Express Eventing have today announced the fourteen athletes including some of the world’s best eventers such as Mark Todd and Oliver Townend who will compete in the Series opening qualifier at the Bolesworth Castle Showjumping Classic in Cheshire on Saturday 11th June. The athletes will be hoping to secure a qualifying place, which will see them compete in the final at the Horse of the Year Show at Birmingham’s LG arena on 4th October.


This compact thrill a minute version of eventing is this year being rolled out nationally and will see dressage to music, cross country and showjumping being completed in one arena and is to be integrated within five prestigious and established annual shows throughout the country. The Bolesworth Castle Showjumping Classic marks the opening of the 2011 Series.


This year for the first time the sport is no longer be invitational, and is instead open to any qualifying Young or Senior rider combination wishing to apply.


A spokesperson for Express Eventing said of the athletes “We have an incredibly strong list of applicants for the Bolesworth qualifier, and a notable list of International entries. Many of these riders have represented their country in the sport of Eventing, and we’re delighted that they have decided to join us and want to be involved with this new sport of Express Eventing.”


Competing Athletes:

-Mark Todd (NZL). Berkshire based Mark is an Eventing legend and was this year’s winner of the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials. He is also a double Olympic Gold Medalist, representing New Zealand.


-Oliver Townend (GBR). Shropshire based Oliver was the winner of the inaugural Express Eventing in 2008. He is also a previous winner of both the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials and the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials and has also represented Great Britain.


-Michael Ryan (IRE). County Cork based Michael has represented Ireland at the European Championships and World Games.


-Matthew Wright (GBR). Nottinghamshire based Matthew has represented Great Britain at the European Championships. He has competed at International level, and has had particular success in Ireland where he was winner at Ballindenisk Horse Trials and the World Cup Qualifier.


-Alex Hua Tian (CHI). Hampshire based Alex has competed in every Express Eventing competition so far, the only rider to have done so, and he was placed second last year. Alex was the first ever rider to represent China at the Olympic games when he competed in Beijing 2008.


-Phoebe Buckley (GBR). Cambridge based Phoebe competed in Express Eventing last year, finishing in 6th place. She has has been the U25 Champion at Bramham CCI***and was a member of the 2005 gold medalist Young Rider team.


-Fraser Duffy (GBR). Based in Ireland since 2000, Fraser has represented Great Britain on the international stage in both Dressage and Eventing as part of the Young Rider team and is now an established trainer.


-Hannah Bate (GBR). Cheshire based Hannah is a former member of the Junior European Eventing Team and has also had notable wins at Windsor International and Blair Castle Horse Trials.


-Jess Butler (GBR). Rutland based Jess has been fortunate enough to follow in the footsteps of riders such as Jeanette Brakewell and Sarah Cohen and to ride and train with the Lawrence David Event Team.


-Shari Butchart (GBR). Essex based Shari is a former Grade A Showjumper and has previously competed at the Horse of the Year Show. She also represented Great Britian in that discipline on both the Junior and Young Rider teams. This is her third season of eventing after making the switch.


-Charlotte Castle (GBR). Lincolnshire based Charlotte has represented Great Britiain as an individual Young Rider, gaining 7th place in the Young Rider Europeans in 2007. Charlotte competes to 4**** Level.


-Paul Sims (GBR). Cheshire based Paul competed at International level both at home and abroad, and was the placed second at last years Intermediate Championship at Gatcombe Park.


-Fiona Hobby (GBR). Wiltshire based Fiona competes at International 4**** level and was 7th in the Blenheim Horse Trials CCI*** last year.


-Carol Pearson (GBR). Lincolnshire based Carol competes to International 2** level. She has competed in several eventers grand prix competitions, including at Bolesworth Classic last year.


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