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Kicking off the international eventing circuit, The Eventing Spring Carnival, at Thoresby Park, proved to be a popular event for all with record crowds each day and over 700 horses attending over the 3 days. Not to mention in excess of 2000 Easter eggs hunted out!

The event, held in the stunning grounds of Thoresby Park was popular with eventing royalty such as Pippa Funnell, Tim Price and Tom McEwen to name but a few.

The sun shone and the rain held off for the most part. The ground held up brilliantly and the grounds team were fabulous. Riders complimented the teams hard work and Tom Woodward, 2nd in the CCI 3* said “a fantastic weekend and firstly really I want to say a massive thanks to BEDE and Stuart Buntine and the team for keeping the show on the road because obviously we’ve had a lot of rain and you know it’s just great to have all the horses out and it’s a brilliant weekend for us with the two horses that we brought here, both finishing on the podium and feeling really good for the year ahead.”

Laura Collett, gold medal Olympic athlete in her post-dressage interview spoke about how much she was looking forward to challenging the cross-country course, expertly built by Stuart Buntine and his team. She said, “they’ve built a really good cross-country course here and fingers crossed it rides well.  It’s going to be an educational and challenging run so really looking forward to it” After her run, she continued “I thought it was a great course.  For a couple of years, we’ve missed a proper Badminton prep, here, there’s nothing big, but we all know our horses are scopey, so it’s about having proper questions that make us ride. What’s so good is that we were all scratching our heads over several places on the course, but everything worked; all the different options worked, so you just had to make a decision.”

It was back-to-back Lycetts Grantham Cup wins for Emily King who commented, “In the arena the going is beautiful.” She was another rider keen to get out there and test run the new cross-country course and said “It looks really good out there. It’s a similar sort of path, but with a few quite different questions [to last year]. There’s a few combinations that are similar to last year, and then a few that are quite different – there’s a new bank complex that’s pretty interesting!”

Irish eventing star Austin O’Connor who secured a win with Climate Change in the Novice, as well as second place in the feature CCI4* Grantham Cup with five-star winner Colorado Blue, said “it was a true four-star, and I’m sure the results from the results page will tell that story. And rightly so – so hats off to Thoresby. They’ve put on some show considering what they’ve been up against. But they put their neck on the line, and I think they got the results they deserved – and this is what eventing is all about. I think we’ve got to be careful not to forget that.”

Another to sing praises for the course was Yasmin Ingham, Eventing World Champion who said “It’s nice to get the run under their belts. We’ve all been itching, really, for runs, and the weather has just not been helpful. But the sun’s finally come out today, and the ground was mostly good, with just a couple of soft patches where I looked after them. But all the jumping was brilliant; it was a very testing track, with lots of interesting questions, and lots of new questions that we haven’t seen before. “It was actually nice to have a bit of a mix-up and a bit of a head scratcher. There were lots of options everywhere, so you could do whatever suited your horse and really ride what’s underneath you.”

It sounds like Thoresby has been a huge hit with the pros!