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Record Entries For The Blair Castle International Horse Trials
Blair Atholl, Scotland
Photo: Camilla Walther
Last year's CCI3* winner Clea Phillipps and Lead The Way
A record number of entries have been received for this year's Blair Castle International Horse Trials which takes place at Blair Atholl from 23rd to 26th August and hosts the FEI European Young Rider Eventing Championships.

Always a popular event with competitors and renowned for its good going on the cross country course, Blair Castle has this year received extra entries due to events down south being cancelled through bad weather.

The 72 entries for the Championships have also boosted entries to 372 for four classes, which will mean a full programme of events for spectators. It has been decided to run two days of cross country on Friday and Saturday, with event showjumping on Saturday and Sunday.

Included in the entries from 18 different European nations are 12 British riders led by Scots, Emily Galbraith, Charlotte Agnew and Nicola Malcolm. Emily (19) has an impressive record with her bay gelding, Crown Alliance; they won the under 25's competition at Bramham earlier this year and came third at Gatcombe last week. They have been selected for the team of four along with Ben Hobday, Lauren Shannon and Georgie Spence.

Charlotte (19) and Little Beau were fourth at Gatcombe and second at Chatsworth in May, while Nicola (19) and her grey gelding, McFly completed Blair Castle CCI** last year. Both will be riding as individuals along with six others.

The CCI*** has attracted 45 entries including William Fox-Pitt and Lucinda Green from England, Andrew Nicholson and Caroline Powell for New Zealand and triple Olympic gold-medallist, Matt Ryan for Australia.

In the CCI** just over 100 competitors will battle it out over three gruelling days of competition while the CCI* is over-subscribed with 149 entries.

Speaking on behalf of Atholl Estates, who own the event, General Manager, Andrew Bruce Wooton said, "We are delighted to have such a strong field of horses and riders this year. Atholl Estates welcomes many visitors over the year and we are especially looking forward to giving the European Young riders a warm Highland welcome. It's great the home crowd have plenty of Scots to cheer on too."

Horse Trials director Sarah Phillips said, "The team here at Blair are making every effort to ensure great going for competitors over the bank holiday weekend. Although we have had plenty of rain, we are more used to it up here and the free-draining soil and work we have done over the years should mean no problems with the ground."

Last year around 40,000 spectators attended the event which kicks off with dressage and a championship Hunter Show on Thursday 23rd August. Friday has more dressage, cross country for the CCI* competitors, showjumping and the NPS Blair Castle Championship Show. Saturday has more cross-country and showjumping with arena displays and entertainment throughout the day thanks to the Bruadar Country Fair which continues on Sunday, when the final showjumping for the Europeans and CCI two and three star classes takes place.

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