Jonty and Art schedule first competition since crowdfunding success

Jonty Evans and Cooley Rorkes Drift are set to compete at the SsangYong Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials this September.

Jonty Evans & Cooley Rorkes Drift (Pic: Matt Nutgall)

Jonty Evans & Cooley Rorkes Drift (Pic: Matt Nutgall)

It will be the first outing for Jonty and “Art”, as the horse is known, since the pair made headlines this summer after Jonty successfully raised £500,000 through crowd-funding to buy the horse and keep their special partnership together.

They'll compete in the CCI3* - one of three international classes at SsangYong Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials.

All three classes – the CCI3*, the CIC3* for eight- and nine-year-old horses and the Event Rider Masters final, which is also a CIC3*, received huge entries and have waiting-lists.

Among the top riders coming to SsangYong Blenheim Palace are Zara Tindall, who has a horse entered in each of the three classes, Pippa Funnell – who has six previous Blenheim wins, and William Fox-Pitt, who has won here five times.

Pippa has four horses entered across the three classes, while William is bringing two young horses for the CCI3* and the CIC3* for eight- and nine-year-olds.

A host of former Olympic gold medallists are also entered, including Sir Mark Todd, Blyth Tait and Andrew Hoy.

Several members of the British squad who won team gold at the European Championships in Poland last weekend – Tina Cook, Ros Canter, Oliver Townend and Gemma Tattersall – will also be competing.

Speaking about the news, Jonty said: “I’m delighted to be riding Cooley Rorkes Drift at Blenheim this year.

“It’s a stunning venue and will be a fantastic competition. We are particularly excited as it will give ‘Art’ a chance to meet so many of the people who kindly contributed to his purchase.”

Event Director Mandy Hervieu said: “We have absolutely outstanding entries this year, proving what a world-class event SsangYong Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials is.

"The stage is set for three very exciting competitions – and, with two days of cross-country (Saturday, 16th and Sunday, 17th September), it should be a real feast of top-class sport for spectators.”

To view the entries, visit www.bdwp.co.uk/ble

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