Riders get ready for the Royal International

Find out who you can see in action at this month's Prenetics Royal International Horse Show 

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The entries for the international showjumping at this month’s Prenetics Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead have been announced.

Plenty of top showjumpers will be in action in the two-star international classes at the show, which runs from 21-25 July, including Michael Whitaker, Robert Whitaker, James Whitaker, Shane Breen, Trevor Breen, Harriet Biddick (nee Nuttall) and Will Fletcher. A number of leading event riders will also be competing in the showjumping classes, including Olympic medallists Pippa Funnell and Gemma Tattersall.

A series of CSI2* one-off classes will take place during the show, including the RIHS Sussex Stakes, the Prenetics July Stakes, the RIHS Southdown Stakes, the Prenetics Castle Stakes and the £6,000 Prenetics Royal International Vase. The event draws to a close with the Science Supplements BHS Queen Elizabeth II Cup, a class that was first held in 1949. Originally for lady riders only, the class was opened up to both men and women in 2008. It is usually a prestigious national championship, open only to the highest-ranked riders in British Showjumping, but this year it will be awarded to the winner of the Grand Prix.

Last year’s winner, David Simpson, will be a notable absentee having been called up on Nations Cup duties in Poland, but several other recent winners are likely to factor in proceedings, including the Breen brothers, Harriet Biddick – who has returned to top level competition following the birth of her first baby Archie earlier this year – and James Whitaker.

Other showjumping highlights include the Al Shira'aa RIHS young horse championships for five-, six- and seven-year-olds, plus the British Showjumping Winter Finals. 

As well as being one of the oldest horse shows in the world, the Royal International is also one of the largest - with more than 3,000 horses and ponies of all shapes and sizes taking part across seven rings of competition. Hickstead is best known for its showjumping, but showing is a major part of its fixtures too. The Prenetics Royal International Horse Show is a championship show, meaning riders have had to pick up a qualifying ticket at venues around the country in order to compete in the showing classes. Top producers such as Jayne Ross, Katie Jerram-Hunnable, Jo Bates, Robert Walker and Allister and Oliver Hood are among those expected to pick up titles at the show.

Throughout the show, various champions will earn their place in Sunday’s grand finals – the British Horse Society Supreme Horse and the Supreme Products Supreme Pony Championships. While the Horse of the Year Show is the pinnacle of indoor showing, the Royal International is regarded as the most prestigious outdoor horse show in Britain, making Hickstead’s supreme titles among the most important in the sport.

Tickets for the show are on sale now, costing just £15 per person with concessions available and under 16s going free.

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