This year’s Bolesworth International CSI **** will have a golden glow with confirmation that Great Britain’s Olympic title-winning dressage and showjumping teams from London 2012 are to be reunited.
Olympic dressage champions Charlotte Dujardin, Carl Hester and Laura Tomlinson will lead a stellar entry in an eagerly-awaited freestyle to music class on June 16 – Bolesworth’s opening day – with Hester confirming he will be aboard likely Rio Olympics ride Nip Tuck.
And the thrills do not stop there, as Nick Skelton is among the showjumping entries with brilliant stallion Big Star, when he will be joined by London team-mates Scott Brash and Ben Maher, while the fourth member of that quartet, Peter Charles, will be at the picturesque Cheshire venue supporting his rider daughters Scarlett and Sienna.
Dujardin is the reigning Olympic, World and European individual champion, while she also holds all of dressage’s world records aboard the brilliant Valegro. Her Bolesworth appearance comes less than three weeks before the Great Britain equestrian team for Rio is scheduled to be announced.
Hester, meanwhile, guided Britain to team gold at London, when he joined forces with Dujardin and Laura Bechtolsheimer (now Tomlinson), and is globally renowned as one the sport’s most prominent figures.
Bolesworth’s global appeal is illustrated by the fact that 18 countries and four continents are represented among the four-star showjumping field.
Those Bolesworth-bound from June 16-19 include multiple major championship medallist Michael Whitaker, Bolesworth 2014 Grand Prix winner William Whitaker, reigning Liverpool International Grand Prix champion Billy Twomey, 2013 European team gold medallist William Funnell and British Nations Cup regular Guy Williams.
Yazmin Pinchen, who won a thrilling Bolesworth Grand Prix last summer, will make a return appearance, while joining Twomey among a powerful Irish contingent are Shane Breen, Trevor Breen, Denis Lynch and Dermot Lennon, in addition to Americans Laura Kraut, Reed Kessler, Lauren Hough and Hannah Selleck, daughter of superstar actor Tom Selleck.
Dujardin and Hester will compete at Bolesworth just 51 days before the Rio Olympics ceremony, offering fans a dream opportunity to watch them in action as they continue their Olympic countdown.
And they will also be paying a visit to an exciting new Bolesworth attraction this year – The Equine Zone – which introduces a fabulous Fanzone and Learning Zone.
The Fanzone will feature regular rider guest appearances throughout the four days, with riders taking time out to meet and greet the public and taking part in photo opportunities and autograph-signing sessions throughout the day.
Visitors are also invited to join an exciting programme of events in the Learning Zone, which offers free educational talks and discussions designed to appeal across a breadth of equestrian expertise and incorporating various topical equestrian subjects. Each session includes a panel made up of experts, specialists, vets and riders.
Learning Zone sessions will take place in a specially-designed theatre within the Equine Zone between 11am and 4pm each day. They will run every hour on the hour, lasting for for approximately 20 minutes.
And with the Olympics just weeks away after Bolesworth, it’s an exciting time for equestrian sport, and Great Britain’s showjumping performance manager Di Lampard will be present on Friday, June 17 to talk through the ‘Road To Rio’, being joined by dressage and showjumping stars.
Running again at CSI**** level, Bolesworth’s 2016 four-day show takes place in the spectacular grounds of Bolesworth Castle and promises an exciting mix of supreme showjumping talent, dressage to music, the unmissable puissance, para showjumping, an invitational jockey challenge and Bolesworth’s flagship elite young horse auction.
A prize fund of almost £60,000 has been announced for the final day’s headline Equerry Horse Feeds Grand Prix, and if that is not enough to whet the appetite, then show-stopping performances from pop bands Atomic Kitten, 5ive and Retake That are also in store.
Numerous other family attractions include a new equine learning zone that will feature rider guest appearances, camel racing, a funfair, action-packed displays, bistro and champagne bar, fine food, fashion & lifestyle zone, plus a shop until you drop experience guaranteed by around 130 retail outlets.
General admission tickets are available at a pre-sale price of just £12 for the opening two days, and £18 for Saturday and Sunday, up to 40% off gate prices. Under-14s can enjoy free admission, while a four-day season ticket is at a not-to-be-missed pre-sale price of £40. Tickets can be bought online at www.bolesworthinternational.com