THE cream of the eventing world will descend on Wiltshire next week for the St. James’s Place Wealth Management Barbury International Horse Trials.
Some of the world's top riders will compete in novice and two star classes as well as the prestigious three-star competition, which culminates on Sunday with the cross country.
A total of £33,000 in prize money is up for grabs across the British eventing classes, with more than 850 horse and rider combinations set to compete.
Further main arena highlights on the weekend include the inaugural JCB Champions Challenge on Saturday, followed on Sunday by the final of the Retraining of Racehorses Championships and a demonstration from para-dressage rider Ed Chanin and Laura Collett riding Kauto Star.
A number of riders bound for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy in August will feature, including Great Britain's Tina Cook (six Barbury entries), current world number one William Fox-Pitt (seven), Pippa Funnell (four), Zara Phillips (three), Izzy Taylor (nine) and Oliver Townend (five).
Leading the international entries are New Zealander Sir Mark Todd, who is based at Badgerstown near Marlborough (three), Marlborough-based New Zealander Andrew Nicholson, a three-star winner at Barbury last year (nine) and Mildenhall-based countryman Tim Price (five), who recently won his first four-star event at Luhmuhlen, Germany.
2014 Badminton winner Sam Griffiths, from Australia, has seven entries.
The JCB Champions Challenge features former world eventing champion Phillips and 19-time champion jump jockey AP McCoy leading teams competing in a unique riding event in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF) over a specifically designed course of fences including a water jump.
The Barbury International Horse Trials run from July 3-6. Tickets start £15 on the gate. Children under 12 years go free. For information and tickets visit barburyhorsetrials.co.uk or call 01672 516125.
MORE BUILD-UP TO THE BARBURY INTERNATIONAL HORSE TRIALS AT GAZETTEANDHERALD.CO.UK/SPORT AND WILTSHIRETIMES.CO.UK/SPORT AND IN THE GAZETTE & HERALD AND WILTSHIRE TIMES NEXT WEEK