Based locally at Lockeridge, Marlborough, the current world number two will head to Barbury with eight horses to compete across the four days, from 6th to the 9th of July.
Sixteen nations are represented and over 1000 horse and rider combinations will compete, featuring some of the best in the world. The stage is set for this world class sporting and equestrian spectacle with a packed programme, which includes:
Leg 3 of the 2017 Event Rider Masters series
One international CIC*** competition
Three international CIC** competitions
British Eventing, Arena Eventing, Burghley Young Event Horse classes and the Retraining of Racehorses Championship
Other equestrian events include the Hunt Scurry, Pony Club showjumping and the JCB Champions Challenge
Most notable of Andrew Nicholson’s entries at Barbury is his 2017 Badminton hero Nereo who, at seventeen years young, will aim to defend his Leg 3 Event Rider Masters crown. Prior to last year’s victory, Andrew also won the last four of the CIC*** competitions riding Avebury. However, with a mouth-watering line up of forty of the world’s best horses and riders in the ERM competition this year, Andrew will have to produce another world class performance to secure both an historic sextet of CIC*** Barbury wins, as well as the third leg of the ERM series for the second time.
Class field for ERM
Between them, the ERM field boasts an impressive medal haul at team and individual Olympic, World and European championship level. Some riders to note, but certainly not restricted to are:
Former double Olympic champion Sir Mark Todd (NZL) and his 2016 Rio horse Leonidas II
Winner of legs 4 and 5 and the 2016 ERM series champion Oliver Townend (GBR) riding Cooley Master Class
Thomas Carlile (FRA), who is making the trip across the channel to Barbury with his grey stallion Upsilon. This combination has an impressive ERM record winning Leg 6 in 2016 as well as delivering podium finishes at leg 4 in 2016 and at the first 2017 leg earlier this year.
With the ERM cross country concluding the horse trials on Sunday afternoon and unfolding in reverse order, the scene will be set for a nail biting display of Eventing action right until the very last horse and rider set out on the iconic Barbury course.
Commenting ahead of Barbury, Andrew Nicholson said:
“Nereo is ready for Barbury. We have been cantering him and other Barbury-bound horses on the estate’s all-weather gallop. This will be his first run since his Badminton win, he is in good form and our aim is to secure a sixth Barbury title and the ERM leg. The riders are really targeting the ERM series now as the prize money is such a great incentive, which could make my job of defending the ERM and Barbury crown even tougher!
“The ERM series is fantastic for Eventing as it’s important for the future of the sport to reach wider audiences via the TV coverage. Furthermore, with Barbury being organised by ERM this year and with some new interesting spectator initiatives planned along with a world class field, I expect everyone will enjoy a great showcase of Eventing action. I look forward to seeing everyone at #Barbury2017!”
Star studded line up across the board
In addition to the ERM competition, the Barbury International Horse Trials has received a stellar entry across its CIC***, CIC** and British Eventing sections. These include 2016 Barbury CIC*** winner Chris Burton (AUS, FEI world ranking 6th), Tim Price (NLZ, FEI world ranking 8th), Nicola Wilson (GB, FEI world ranking 10th) and Hannah Sue Burnett (USA, FEI world ranking 12th). Furthermore, Team GB’s 2016 Olympic Eventing squad of William Fox-Pitt, Gemma Tattersall, Kitty King and Pippa Funnell also all hold multiple entries.
The St. James’s Place Barbury International Horse Trials takes place from the 6th to 9th July 2017. Advanced discounted tickets and hospitality are available to book at Barburyhorsetrials.co.uk until 6pm before each event day. Tickets will then be available to purchase on the gate. Thursday: Free entry, Friday: £10pp, Saturday and Sunday: £20pp. Under 12’s go free.