In excess of 1,000 entries have been made in the eventing classes for this year's Fairfax & Favor Rockingham International, which runs from 18-20 May. In the region of 700 more are due to compete in the additional classes; Pony Club and Riding Club team showjumping, Arena Eventing and Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse classes.
Eventing entries are not only large they are high class, with riders representing 19 nations from the United States to Russia, Japan to Jamaica. It is, again, a truly international field.
Multiple medal winner William Fox-Pitt has four horses listed, from novice to open intermediate level, while local girl, British squad member and last year's Burghley runner up Piggy French has seven. Pippa Funnell will compete on the Sunday in the intermediate and advanced intermediate classes, and the reigning Badminton champion Andrew Nicholson (NZL) returns with three horses in the international classes – Andrew won the One Star at Rockingham last year.
In addition to those named above, close to 20 competitors are past Olympians including New Zealand's eventing legend and 2015 Loomes Championship winner, Sir Mark Todd, Japan's Toshiyuki Tanaka and Ryozo Kitajima, Ireland's Jonty Evans, Aoife Clark and Michael & Patricia Ryan, Sweden's Ludwig Svennerstal, Italy's Vittoria Panizzon, Brazil's Carlos Parro and Britain's Kitty King and Daisy Berkeley.
Joining the established 'old guard' are some of the up and coming eventing talents, including the reigning Junior European Championship individual gold and team silver medal winning Bubby Upton, past Young Rider European Championship team gold/individual silver medal winner, and previous Pony European Championship team silver medallist Eliza Stoddart – the latter both local riders.
As usual it's not just the eventing that has attracted strong support. One hundred Pony Club teams representing 25 branches have entered for their show jumping competition, and Riding Club teams will also be getting a share of the action. With the additional Arena Eventing and Burghley Young Event Horse classes there will be plenty to see all weekend.
The horse trials takes place over the weekend of the 18th - 20th May.
For more information about everything happening at Fairfax & Favor Rockingham International Horse Trials or to buy advance tickets, visit www.rockinghamcastlehorsetrials.com