EQUESTRIAN: Olympic stars on show at Blenheim

Mary King, Nicola Wilson, William Fox-Pitt, Tina Cook and Zara Phillips celebrate their silver medal at the Olympics. The last-named four riders will all be in action at Blenhem this week

Mary King, Nicola Wilson, William Fox-Pitt, Tina Cook and Zara Phillips celebrate their silver medal at the Olympics. The last-named four riders will all be in action at Blenhem this week

First published in Sport

Four of Great Britain’s Olympic silver medal-winning team from London 2012 will be in action at the Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, which get under way tomorrow.

Zara Philips, William Fox Pitt, Nicola Wilson and Tina Cook all have entries at the prestigious event, with only Mark King missing from the line-up who finished second to Germany.

As part of Blenheim’s finale on Sunday, the quartet will take feature in a special mounted parade in the main arena before the prizegiving (at around 4.15pm).

Great Britain’s fab four head a star-studded line-up, which includes New Zealand’s bronze medallists Mark Todd, Andrew Nicholson, Jonelle Richards and Caroline Powell.

Also among a strong home contingent are Piggy French, the 2011 Blenheim CCI title holder, Pippa Funnell, Jeanette Brakewell, Lucy Weigersma and Oliver Townend.

They will face hot competition from a host of other top riders including New Zealand’s Lucy Jackson, Italy’s Suzanna Bordonne and Australian duo Paul Tapner and Christopher Burton.

Also making their way from Greenwich to Blenheim, as part of the BEF’s Equestrian legacy programme from the Games, will be some of the fences from the cross country course.

The Altar (fence 21 at Greenwich) will now feature in the CIC*** cross country course and the Saxon Village (fence 27ab at Greenwich) will be used in the training ground.

In addition to watching over 180 top competitors in the CCI*** main events, more than 600 amateur riders will be taking part in the grassroots classes and activities, including the Eventer Challenges.

Leading riders will also be letting their hair down in two novelty events on Sunday – Blenheim’s popular high jump and new bareback showjumping classes.

For the timetable and ticket information, visit www.blenheim-horse. co.uk.

Admission starts at £12.50 on the gate, with children under 12 and parking free.

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