RIDER from 14 countries including Columbia, Japan, Canada and New Zealand are among nearly 500 entries for the inaugural Gillespie Macandrew Hopetoun International Horse Trials on July 30-31st.
South African, Swedish and Danish riders are also in the starting box for Scotland’s new international horse trials in the grounds of Hopetoun House, overlooking the Forth near Edinburgh.
Event Director Stuart Buntine was delighted with the international line-up: “This is a huge international turnout for a one-day-event and it is a lot more than I expected,” he said. “It is a real compliment to Hopetoun that so many riders are coming north to compete.”
And for the 30-strong Irish contingent Hopetoun will be particularly important. For Ireland’s European Team selectors have chosen Hopetoun as the venue for the final trials. This means the Irish results from the competition’s toughest class, (the CIC 3*), will determine which six competitors represent Eire at the European Championships at Luhmuhlen, Germany in September.
“The fact that the Irish selectors have chosen Hopetoun as their international trial gives the event real credibility,” said Mr Buntine.
Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer at EventScotland echoed the thoughts of other partners saying, “The Gillespie Macandrew Hopetoun International Horse Trials are certainly living up to the event name with an international field of riders for next week’s event. The quality of riders coming from around the world will undoubtedly attract visitors to Hopetoun and the local area from other parts of Scotland and beyond. The setting for this event will showcase the Hopetoun estate and Scotland as the perfect stage for equestrian events, and I am sure this event will continue to gain international profile in the years to come.”
Alongside the equestrian activities, the event will incorporate some of the most popular elements of the former Hopetoun Summer Fair as well as introducing new and exciting attractions for all ages and interests.