Two of the biggest names in eventing have applied to go head to head at the first Express Eventing Series 2011 qualifier at Bolesworth Showjumping Classic and Grand Prix.

Equestrian celebrity and winner of the inaugural Express Eventing in 2008 Oliver Townend has submitted his application for the Cheshire based event as has former Olympian and three times winner of the Hickstead Eventing Grand Prix Gary Parsonage. This means the pair who have both been very successful in the arena previously could go head to head for a place in the Final.

This year for the first time Express Eventing, the spectacular exciting and fast moving version of eventing is to be rolled out nationally at five prestigious and established shows, and the first qualifier will be held at the Bolesworth Showjumping Classic and Country Fair set in the stunning grounds of Bolesworth Castle in Cheshire on 11th June 2011.

The Express Eventing Series 2011 will see dressage to music, cross country and showjumping being completed in one arena and would see the pair compete for a share of the £10,000 Bolesworth prize pot, part of the total prize pot of £100,000.

At the event both riders will hope to qualify for the Final which will be held at the world's most famous horse show, Horse of the Year Show, at Birmingham's LG arena in the autumn. The two top placed Senior and Young rider from each qualifier will qualify with further qualifications also available to the national pool of runners-up.

Oliver was part of the commentary team for Express Eventing 2010 as he was unable to compete as the sport was only open to Young riders. This year it is open to both Senior and Young riders.

On submitting his application Townend said 'Being part of the team for the 2010 Express Eventing certainly made me appreciate how exciting it is to watch however I am really looking forward to having the chance to compete at Bolewsworth, every time I visit the place just takes my breath away'.

Parsonage hopes to compete on his 2 star international horse and explained how Express Eventing differs from anything he has done before. 'For me the dressage to music element will be novel. At Hickstead I've only ever done the Showjumping and Cross Country in an arena, so this adds a great twist and I'm really looking forward to the challenge and getting involved in the sport'.

The closing date for rider applications for the Bolesworth Showjumping Classic and Country Fair is Friday 16th April, and these can be made online at



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