Eventing’s top-ranked riders join us at Bicton in Devon for the May International, 23 – 26 May which is gearing up to be the South West’s ultimate horse trials bank holiday weekend. The prestigious TopSpec CCI4*-S class is set to be a who’s who of Olympic hopefuls with this year’s fixture set to play a crucial role in the lead-up to the Paris 2024 Olympics.

World number one Oliver Townend brings three rides – Crazy Du Loir, En Taro Des Vernier and Trevellick, all looking for success in the TopSpec CCI4*-S along with World number two Ros Canter who brings four rides, including her 2023 Badminton and FEI European Champion ride Lordships Graffalo alongside MHS Seventeen, whilst Jack Of Clubs and Silvesters Finesse will compete in the Mitchell & Webber CCI2*-L. Somerset-based Alexander Bragg is hoping to continue his successful run after his third place at Badminton, this time with Ardeo Premier in Bicton’s feature class.

Bicton is welcoming several other riders ranked in the top 10 of the FEI Eventing World Rankings including Tom McEwen (4) with four rides, Harry Meade (5) with three horses, Tim Price (6), a local rider with two entered, Piggy March (7) brings two as does Yasmin Ingham (8). Last, but not least, the 2023 winner of the TopSpec CCI4*-S, Laura Collett (10) looks to defend her title with London 52 as well as with Dacapo and her recent Badminton ride Hester, whilst Balancero competes in the Mitchell & Webber CCI2*-L.

Winner of the 2023 Symonds & Sampson CCI3*-L, Gaspard Maksud returns to defend his title, this time on Just Perfect, he also brings Haribo Louvo for the two star and Zaragoza II in the four star.

Finn Healy is looking to hold onto his title of Young Rider National Champion, having won the 2023 CCI3*YR-L, this year riding 13-year-old Fathers Compromise. Finn also brings his own Greannanstown Monbeg Joe to compete in the two star following their recent wins at Novice level at both Kelsall Hill and Osberton. Finishing Finn’s trio of Bicton entries is Ramiro Wannabe, 7-year-old gelding by Ramiro B, owned by Caroline Jenks. There’s plenty more young talent in the Western Counties Equine Hospital CCI3* YR-L including entries from Isabelle Cook and Ellie Fredericks.

Local Devon rider and sporting legend, Mary King brings King Louis who started his BE career at Bicton in 2021 and has since seen plenty of success, most recently winning the Novice at Calmsden in April, plus Kings Belief a 7-year-old gelding by Cevin Z both hoping for success in the two star. Fellow local Olympic rider William Fox-Pitt rides BLS Absolutely and eventing stalwart Tina Cook brings Cymoon “F” Z to compete in the three star, a 10-year-old gelding owned by herself and Jim Chromiak.

The four-day competition will provide an exhilarating experience for both seasoned eventing enthusiasts and newcomers to the world of equestrian sports with entertainment and excitement for the whole family; spectators are in for a treat! With a wide array of activities including face-painting, falconry demonstrations and a dog show. Explore the event grounds and enjoy a variety of tradestands and catering options, highlighting the best of the South West’s local cuisine.

Renowned for its beautiful parkland, spectacular views and challenging cross-country courses, Bicton’s Event Director, Andrew Fell says, “We’re very much looking forward to welcoming so many top riders to Bicton, it’s going to be a fantastic weekend of competitive riding and family fun for all.”

Get your tickets for just £10 via the website www.bicton.com and under 12’s go free. Full entries list and live results can be found at www.eventingscores.co.uk. Live action is being streamed by Clip My Horse www.clipmyhorse.tv/en_GB/