Posted on 30th April 2021

All roads lead to Aston-le-Walls

The organisers of the new Dassett Eventing CCI4*-S at Aston-le-Walls (2) are delighted to have received such a high-class entry of around 235, with many of the biggest names in the sport using it as an Olympic and European Championships trial.

As well as Great Britain, the nations of Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, New Zealand and Sweden are strongly represented, plus a group of leading Irish riders are making the trip across the sea.

Several representatives from the top of the FEI Eventing World Athlete Rankings have multiple rides, including world number one Oliver Townend, who scored a spectacular hat-trick at the Kentucky CCI5*-L last weekend, and second and third-placed Tim and Jonelle Price representing New Zealand.

Pippa Funnell is bringing her 2019 Burghley winner, MGH Grafton Street, and Ireland’s Cathal Daniels has his 2019 European bronze medallist Rioghan Rua. Laura Collett's 2020 Pau winner, London 52, is entered, as are the 2018 world champions Ros Canter and Allstar B, plus Ros’s team mate Tom McEwen with Toledo de Kerser, his 2019 Pau winner.

World silver medallist Padraig McCarthy (IRL), Christopher Burton (AUS), Kevin McNab (AUS), Ludwig Svennerstal (SWE), Kazuma Tomoto (JAP) and Andrew Nicholson (NZL) all have horses entered, as do Britons Piggy March, Izzy Taylor, William Fox-Pitt, Harry Meade, Gemma Tattersall and Kitty King.

The CCI4*-S, which is generously sponsored by Dassett Eventing, has been relocated from Chatsworth, as has the CCI2*-S, which is backed by Cadenza Eventing.

The team at Nigel and Ann Taylor’s popular Aston-le-Walls site have re-laid arena surfaces and will be producing their usual high standard of cross-country footing in addition to several new fences built by Nigel with Andrew Hunter. Capt Mark Phillips has been drafted in as international cross-country course designer and has been putting the finishing touches to a new 800m loop through a wood on ground not previously used.

“It’s an honour and a pleasure to be hosting such a high-class field,” said organiser Nigel Taylor. “The cross-country will be a mix of old-fashioned galloping over proper hedges and technical questions. Our aim is for these prospective championship horses to be tested in a meaningful way, but also to leave with a sweet taste.”

Kate Rocher of Dassett Eventing added: “Dassett Eventing is absolutely thrilled to be supporting the CCI4*-S at what we consider to be the best eventing competition venue in the country. The team at Aston-le-Walls thoroughly deserve to run such a prestigious international class and we cannot wait for this high-class field to battle it out on competition day!"

The event will be held behind closed doors in keeping with Government Covid-19 restrictions and guidelines. The dressage phase will take place on Monday and Tuesday, May 10 and 11; the jumping phases will be on Wednesday, May 12.

Members of the media are most welcome to attend, but should please register first with the on-site press officer Kate Green.

Find out more HERE.