ENTRIES OPEN FOR UNIQUE INTERNATIONAL FIXTURE
Entries are now open for the unique international fixture being hosted by Little Downham (Cambs.) and Tweseldown (Hants.), this May.
This unique partnership centres around the debut of a compact and forward-thinking timetable, which will see these international classes run over the course of one day each. Affectionately nicknamed ‘Little Tweseldownham’, the competition will run on Thursday, May 20th and Friday, May 21st at Tweseldown, followed by two days of action at Little Downham over the 22nd and 23rd of May.
Both venues will host the FEI classes and National classes, allowing each organising team to host smaller international sections and the ability to run all three phases on one day. This represents a unique opportunity for competitors to gain international experience and qualifying runs while cutting the cost per run – and the associated biosecurity risk of on-site stabling – considerably.
Little Downham’s 2020 CCI4*S, and Pau CCI5*, champion Laura Collett has pledged her support to the new fixture:
“I’m really looking forward to heading back to Little Downham for the CCI3*S! I was so impressed with the October CCI4*S last year and Little Downham always delivers great ground. The true one day format will be great for owners and riders – reducing the costs and impact of additional time spent away from the yard.”
Little Downham stepped in at the last minute to host the same fixture in 2012 when Brigstock cancelled, prior to the fixture being reinstated at Rockingham Castle. Tweseldown, as a venue, has a long history of hosting international fixtures dating back to the Olympic equestrian events in 1948. This fixture will, however, mark the first modern-era FEI fixture at the Hampshire venue.
“Tina Ure has been championing the idea of an all-in-one day CCI for ages, but it has taken Covid for it to come to the fore,” says Rachael Faulkner, Managing Director of Tweseldown. “I am thrilled that Tweseldown, sponsored by Lucinda Green XC Academy, will be sharing the FEI and National classes with the Childeric Little Downham Horse Trials.”
The revived fixture has attracted much praise from both professional and amateur international level competitors.
Suffolk-based New Zealand Olympian Caroline Powell commented: “This new format is a much needed and long-awaited development and could be just what’s needed to help revive and lift the sport. Keeping the costs low and limiting the need for on-site stabling will make the FEI classes more accessible for new competitors and makes it more financially viable for professional riders and owners.”
A shortened entries window will see entries close/ballot from noon on April 27th 2021. Riders are encouraged to make their entries as early as possible to allow the organising teams to plan and prepare accordingly.