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March 26, 2024

With fifty-two of the eighty-seven Badminton bound combinations destined for the Eventing Spring Carnival this weekend, Thoresby Park offers the ultimate Badminton preview.  Not only does the Lycetts Grantham Cup (CCI4*-S) and Advanced offer the ideal preparation for the first of the big B’s, but as the first international event of the British season it becomes an enormously important fixture ahead of this summer’s Olympic Games.

The Lycetts Grantham Cup, formally run at Belton and now at Thoresby, has historically acted as a crucial feeder and preparation run for May’s MARS Badminton Horse Trials, and this year is no different.  Other riders will also be using the Spring CCI4*-S as essential prep for the Defender Kentucky Three Day CCI5* at the end of April.

Of those heading to Badminton, via Thoresby, and looking to get their hands on the Lycetts Grantham Cup, reigning European Champions, Ros Canter and Pau CCI5* winner Izilot DHI, who will look to follow in Lordship Graffalo’s 2023 success. They’ll have stiff competition from the likes of three-time five-star winners (and Tokyo team gold medallists!) Laura Collett who not only has the infamous London 52, who will no doubt have his sights set on Paris, but Hester and Bling looking to make their mark ahead of the Spring 5*. Last year’s Grantham Cup winners, Emily King and Valmy Biats, among the big names lining up to bat.

Of the CCI4* track, Captain Mark Phillips commented:

“They have a nice easy start and then the middle of the course, around the house, is quite serious, and then when they’re back across the road it’s a nice way to finish.  It’s a special place, Thoresby, the know the ground here can be excellent and that’s what we hope for, and we’ve ordered a nice sunny day – but the sun on the riders backs and a smile on their face.”

Of those heading to Badminton but opting for the Thoresby Advanced class as their preparation run, former World and European Champion Zara Tindall and Class Affair, join former Badminton winners William Fox-Pitt and Pippa Funnell in the sole Advanced class on Easter Saturday.

But it’s not just reigning champions, Olympic glory-hunters, and heavy hitters who’ll be putting their names on the leader board – Thoresby’s array of international classes is a great place to discover the horses and riders who’ll soon become household names. They’ll all be put to the test over fair but challenging tracks designed by BEDE Director Stuart Buntine and Captain Mark Phillips, all created to suit the early-season aim of providing an education and a pipe-opener as horses and riders alike dive into the new season.

To join them as they tackle their first international outing of the season, head to thoresby-horse.co.uk to get your tickets, starting at just £10 per person, or £15 for a family ticket bundle on Easter Sunday, that includes two adults, parking and two Easter Egg hunt tickets.

Making the most of the Easter weekend, the event also offers The Great Thoresby Easter Egg Hunt, at just £2 per entry with chocolate guaranteed, plus there’s exclusive showjuming and cross-country course walks with the stars of the show, raising money for the Riders Minds charity.