Ref:
Date:
Location:
Photographer:
News

Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials preview -

Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials preview - STELLAR CAST EXPECTED AT BLENHEIM AS ENTRIES COME FLOODING IN ...

The Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, which runs 8th-11th September 2011, has attracted record interest. Entries have been received to date from many of the top British-based riders like William Fox-Pitt, Mark Todd and Zara Phillips; as well as some overseas riders from nations like Australia, Japan and South Africa who will be fighting for the winning slot in Blenheim’s Olympic team qualifier (from regions F and G), the only 2012 qualifier to take place on British soil this year.

n many cases, spectators will have the opportunity to see this stellar cast of riders in action twice over, with cross country scheduled on both the Saturday (10th September) in the CCI***and the Sunday (11th September) in the 8 and 9 year old CIC***. The latter has become a marker for up and coming talent as shown with Mark Todd’s, NZB Land Vision who emerged the victor of this class at Blenheim last year, en-route to winning Badminton this Spring.
“ We will try to accommodate as many combinations as we can within the restrictions of the site and schedule,” says Event Director Mandy Hervieu, “however it is possible that the event will have to ballot for the first time in many years”.
Anticipating the interest this year and addressing some of the concerns of home-based riders, the Organising Committee has introduced a policy which will guarantee a minimum number of British and overseas rider places and limit the number of multiple horse entries, before then reverting to a ballot based on points.
The Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, set in the parkland of Blenheim Palace near Woodstock (Oxon) has become an established family event. In addition to top level equestrian sport, the event also hosts: over 175 trade stands, competitions for local riders and a wide selection of displays and demonstrations designed to appeal to all, including a sports participation area. These attractions are also expanded on the weekend, to include a wide range of children’s entertainments, the Anthony Nolan Fun Run and a classic car display.


FIDELITY EXTENDS SUPPORT TO OLYMPIC QUALIFIER
At The Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials (8-11 September 2011)

Fidelity has extended its sponsorship of The Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials to include the London 2012 team Eventing qualifier for Africa, Middle East, South East Asia and Oceania (FEI Olympic Groups F and G). The latter, which is a new addition to the Event’s programme, is the only qualifier to take place on home nation soil.
The team competition will run as part of Blenheim’s top CCI 3* class taking in the cross country course designed by Eric Winter and built by David Evans’ team, who were responsible for the Beijing Olympic course in 2008. Just one team qualifying spot is available so all those nations yet to qualify – including Australia, Japan and South Africa - will be going all out to win at Blenheim.
“Our CCI 3* class consistently attracts a stellar field of top international riders based in the UK. The addition of the Olympic qualifier will mean an even more exciting competition this year, with an added twist which is great news for spectators and the competition. However, accommodating the Olympic qualifier will require expanding and upgrading facilities for officials, spectators and the competitors from overseas. This has only been possible with increased support from Fidelity, for which we would like to extend a big ‘thank you’,” explains Mandy Hervieu, Blenheim Horse Trials Event Director.
Rob Fisher, Head of UK Personal Investments, Fidelity International, comments: "Fidelity has a global investment reach, so it is fitting for us to be associated with the ever increasing international profile of this event.  We are proud to support an Olympic qualifying activity."
The Olympic qualifier team competitors are all scheduled to take part in the dressage phase on the morning of Thursday 8th September and the cross country phase on the morning of Saturday 10th September. They will show jump after lunch on Sunday 11th unless they are standing in the top 25 placings, which will jump in reverse order merit.


ORGANISERS TRYING BEST TO GIVE RIDERS A CHANCE OF RUNNING

At The Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials (8-11 September 2011)


In the light of the unprecedented level of entries (up to 50% higher than average) for this event, the Organising Committee is making every attempt it can to accommodate as many riders as possible, including schedule alterations and bringing in additional stabling and stewards.



To give everyone the best chance to ride at Blenheim, the event will be accepting 110 horses in the CCI*** (and 65 in the 8 and 9 year old CIC***); with a pre agreed number of foreign and British-based riders including those competing in the Olympic Team Qualifier. Thereafter, a ballot of horses has now been conducted based on a maximum of two horses per rider and points earned during the current and preceding two years (2009-11).



“The rider response this year has been amazing and we are doing everything we can to open up opportunities to run; within the confines of our compact site, the various logistical challenges and shorter daylight hours at this time of year, explains Event Director, Mandy Hervieu.



“We are keeping a wait list which will kick in should withdrawals cause the numbers of entries to fall below 100 in the CCI*** (or 60 in the CIC***). This will give us a very full schedule with a contingency which allows for realistic competitor movement around the venue. We will take late entries from horses on the wait list, based on their points and will endeavour to notify riders as soon as possible of their status,” ends Hervieu.



For further information, see the CCI/CIC Entries page at www.blenheim-horse.co.uk.

AUSTRALIA & JAPAN FIGHT FOR OLYMPIC QUALIFICATION AT BLENHEIM THIS WEEK

A world-class field will be competing at this week’s Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials (8-11 September 2011) and the event will also welcome three nations - Japan, New Zealand, and Australia - for its London 2012 team Eventing qualifier for Africa, Middle East, South East Asia and Oceania (FEI Olympic Groups F and G). South Africa will be represented by individual riders.

Only one nation from Blenheim will qualify for London 2012 so Japan and Australia (the two nations still to qualify) will have all to play for. The higher placed of the two will join host nation Great Britain along with Canada, New Zealand, USA, Germany and Belgium (who qualified at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2010); as well as France and Sweden (the two nations that secured Olympic participation at the recent FEI European Eventing Championships).

The London 2012 Team qualifier at Blenheim will run as part of the CCI3* competition. “Blenheim is synonymous with Olympic qualification,” explained Catrin Norinder, FEI Director of Eventing & Olympic. “In 2003, Blenheim hosted a qualifier for the 2004 Athens Olympics and a second Olympic qualifier in 2007 for the 2008 Beijing Games. The best team from this year’s Asia Pacific Eventing Championship, excluding New Zealand who have already qualified, will secure Olympic participation in London and we wish the riders and their horses the best of luck.”

The Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, set in the parkland of Blenheim Palace near Woodstock (Oxon), has become an established family event. In addition to top level equestrian sport, the event also hosts: over 175 trade stands, competitions for local riders and a wide selection of displays and demonstrations designed to appeal to all, including a sports participation area. Car parking and entrance for accompanied under 12’s is complimentary and tickets are available at the gate. Further details at www.blenheim-horse.co.uk