RACING legend AP McCoy and former world eventing champion Zara Phillips will be among a host of famous faces doing battle in the JCB Champions Challenge during next month’s St. James’s Place Wealth Management Barbury International Horse Trials.
McCoy, the 19-time champion jockey who lives in nearby Baydon and London 2012 Olympics silver medal-winning equestrian rider Phillips will take part in the unique horse race on the Saturday of the trials, which take place from July 3-6 at the Barbury estate near Marlborough.
The Barbury International is celebrating its 10th birthday, with the Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF) – celebrating its 50th year – being named the official charity to benefit from the JCB Champions Challenge.
The all-star race will see famous names racing each other over a specially designed course, including a water jump in Barbury’s main arena, with show jumpers competing at the event for the BS Grand Prix prize making up a third team and the winning team from the Inter Hunt Scurry, held on the same day with more than 30 teams taking part, forming a fourth team.
Joining Phillips on the eventer’s team will be FEI world number one William Fox-Pitt, Badgerstown-based New Zealander Sir Mark Todd and team and individual gold medal-winning 2009 Young Rider European champion Laura Collett.
McCoy, who last year reached 4000 career winners, will be joined by former seven times champion jockey and president of the IJF, John Francome MBE, and Sam Twiston-Davies, stable jockey to trainer Paul Nicholls and one of the country’s brightest young jockeys.
Francome said: “I would like to thank our sponsors JCB for supporting the IJF with this exciting event.
“Visitors to Barbury on Saturday are going to be treated to some serious competitive riding in the JCB Champion's Challenge.
“I am now in intense training and using the Oaksey House gym every day. I’ve also gone into the loft and my original racing breeches are ready for action!”
Nigel Bunter, chairman of Barbury International Horse Trials added: “In addition to the world-class eventing on show, we are delighted to be hosting such an exciting and unique competition at Barbury.
“We are also delighted to be supporting the IJF, who provide such an important role to the entire equestrian community”.
Some of the world’s top eventers will be preparing for the World Equestrian Games in Normandy in August in the CIC three-star competition at Barbury, jointly won last year by Marlborough-based New Zealander Andrew Nicholson and British rider Piggy French.
Other events at the trials will see para-dressage rider Ed Chanin performing a dressage display in the main arena on the Sunday.
Celebrating the Retraining of Racehorses series, Collett will give a demonstration on board five-times King George winner and dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Kauto Star in the main arena.
Both riders received treatment and support from the IJF and rehabilitation facilities at Oaksey House in Lambourn.
Tickets start from £12 per person per day booked in advance (£15 on the gate).
Children under 12 go free, while the Barbury Club – including hospitality packages starting from £51.60 For information and tickets visit barburyhorsetrials.co.uk or call 01672 516125.
Meanwhile, Malmesbury teenager Lara Kuropatwa has been named as first reserve for the Great Britain pony team to contest the European Championships in Millstreet in Ireland next month.
Kuropatwa, 13, and chestnut stallion Le Chiffre are one of two reserve combinations behind teh four-strong team for the event on July 30-August 3.
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