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Cream Of Europe's Showjumpers Arrive In Chester

Equestrian stars from across Europe are poised to converge on The Roodee for the second Chester International Horse Show - the largest show jumping event in the north of England.

The International Arena of the show - between Thursday 17 and Sunday 20 July - will play host to leading international show jumpers from across Europe as well as Britain's principle show jumpers. 2003 is a particularly important year as the European Championships take place in Germany next month and competitors will have a final opportunity to show off their talents to gain selection for the last major championship before the Olympics in Athens in 2004.

The 2002 Chester International Horse Show proved a huge success, with three days of show jumping involving 400 horses and ponies and more than 300 riders that attracted the cameras of Sky TV as well as members of the Royal Family.

Richard Thomas, chief executive of the Chester Race Company, said: "We are thrilled that the Chester International Horse Show is once again being held on The Roodee. It's a tremendous event which enhances Chester's reputation as a venue for superb equestrian sport."

The organisers Scope Promotions (Equestrian) along with Chester City Council have made significant improvements to this year's show.

Floodlighting has been added to the international arena, enabling show jumping classes and a selection of entertainment to take place well into the evening.

A hospitality area will be on two storeys commanding a superb view of the international arena and the showground, while a Champagne and sea food area are on offer. Terraced and lawned seating areas, along with a fully licensed bar, will be available. A selection of tables within the hospitality area will be available for booking on a daily basis or for the duration of the show - contact Alan Beaumont on 01270 526041.

A spokesman said: "A huge amount of work has gone into this year's show to create not only a high class show jumping event but also a major regional attraction for the people of Chester and the surrounding areas to enjoy."

Last year's show was commended by European riders. Frenchman Herve Godignon commented that Britain should be delighted to host such a prestigious show. The 2002 first prize in the international arena went to John Popley and his stallion Luidam. It presented by HRH Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, who arrived by helicopter for the event.

This year's classes are: 1.15m Select Open; 1.25m; Welcome Stakes; Roodee Stakes; Premier Consulting UK Stakes; Credit and Business Services JA; Esengroup Stakes; Clocktower Stakes; Tapsell & Whitehouse Families JA; Premier Consulting UK Speed Stakes; Riverside Air Conditioning Championship; The Chester Championship; Premier Consulting UK Supreme Championship; Horse & Hound Foxhunter; JA Open; Great Leighs Newcomers; Horse & Hound Foxhunter; B&C Scope Qualifier; 1.25/1.35m Two Phase; 128cms/138cms Handicap; National 128cms Championship; National 138cms Championship; Junior Scope Select Qualifier; Great Leighs Newcomers - First Round; Horse & Hound Foxhunter - First Round; B&C Scope Qualifier; 1.25/1.35 Two Phase; National 128cms Championship Qualifier; National 138cms Championship Qualifier; 1.15m Junior Open; National Junior Foxhunter - 2nd Round; 148cms; Great Leighs Newcomers - First Round; 1.25m Scope Qualifier; 1.35m Scope Qualifier; 128/138cms Handicap; HOYS 128cms Qualifier; HOYS 138cms Qualifier; Kraiburg Junior Show Jumper of the Year; and August Silk Junior Restricted Open.


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