After months of preparation, the sun shone, and the clock chimed 8 am for the opening of the all-new Bolesworth International.
From June 14 to 18, we served up five days of amazing world-class sport, entertainment, family fun, live music and more to over 17,000 people!
The opening day started spectacularly
Alex Bragg set off at an unbeatable pace with experienced campaigner Quindiva expertly navigating the tricky JCL Insurance Brokers Eventing Grand Prix course, set by Andrew Heffernan, taking place in the Main International Arena.
Gemma Stevens riding Santiago Bay secured the second place prize, with New Zealand’s Caroling Powell on Greenacres Special Cavalier rounding out the podium. Click here for the full results.
Emma Stoker and Q Seven took the win in the opening Hird & Partners 1.35m CSI3* class of the show, putting in a very fast time to narrowly take the lead by 0.12 seconds from runner-up Carmen Edwards riding Garou Pommex Z. Third place went to Annabel Shields riding Elgrando PS. For full results of all the opening showjumping classes, click here.
Day two of the 2023 Bolesworth International was an action-packed festival of equestrian sport.
Jonathan Smyth riding Mulvin Lui couldn’t be beaten as he tackled the first of two Grand Prix qualifiers, sponsored by HM3 Legal and expertly designed by Javier (Chape) Trenor. 88 combinations came forward for the class, setting the scene for a weekend of world-class showjumping. Jonathan was closely followed by Emma Stoker riding Daisy and George Whitaker riding Peanut. Click here to read the full Thursday results.
Nearly 200 horses and riders dressed up for the Trooping the Colour-themed park ride, which took place through the morning around the Bolesworth Estate. The ride was in aid of the Riding for the Disabled Association and raised over £2,500. Prizes were presented by RDA Representatives, Ambassadors Joe Stockdale and Evie Toombes and included the best-dressed rider and highest fundraiser.
In the VIP marquee, the hall was packed with eager ears for the panel of inspiring women attending the Women in Business Day lunch. Louise Minchin (freelance BBC presenter), Victoria Price (HM3 Legal) and Fleur Robinson (CEO of Wrexham FC) took to the stage to talk about their lives, their careers and the challenges they’ve faced.
Day three of the 2023 Bolesworth International on 16 June 2023 saw an amazing mix of sport and entertainment under the Cheshire summer sun.
The Dodson & Horrell 1.50m jump-off took place as the second qualifier for Sunday’s Cavago CSI3* Grand Prix, and it was a win for Graham Gillespie riding Veneno. An exciting jump-off saw ten combinations come forward, with Christopher Burton in the runner-up spot riding Chedington Hazy Toulana and Tim Gredley in third riding Imperial Hbf.
The Bolesworth Business lunch supported by Connectus took place in the VIP Hospitality, with the highlight being an audience with sporting greats Sir AP McCoy and Michael Owen. The pair and other special guests took part in the notorious Ride and Drive sponsored by Lexus Chester. The resulting teams were: Jay Halim and Neil Crowden in 1st place, Lila Bremner and Daniel Mc Alinden in the silver medal position and Madison Heath and Graham Heath rounding out the top 3.
The RPJ Band kicked off the weekend!
Friday, Rick Parfitt Jnr & The RPJ Band took the stage, with DJ Phoebe D’Abo following on the decks to bring the summer festival vibe to Bolesworth.
Day four of the 2023 Bolesworth International was a sun-soaked summer Saturday to remember.
It was a winning day for George Whitaker, taking both the FMBs Therapy Systems CSI1* 1.30m with Zirocca Zoom and the LeMieux CSI3* 1.40m with Peanut. Setting off at speed from the start, only a second separated George Whitaker and second-placed Emma Stoker with Daisy. Following in third was Sophie Evans with Csio Bel. Full results.
The amateur classes at Bolesworth International were also highly competitive. It was an Irish 1,2,3 in the Roewer & Rueb CSIAm-A 1.15m, with Robyn Mcowan taking the top spot with Zuidam. The on-form Rachel Gredley took 2nd and 3rd with Jalanna and Hobalo, respectively. Full results.
As anticipation built for Sunday’s Cavago CSI3* 1.50m Grand Prix, all eyes were on Graham Gillespie, Emma Stoker, and Tim Gredley, all of whom had already won a Grand Prix Qualifier this week. Another strong contender was that of George Whitaker with the talented stallion Peanut, a combination who hadn’t rolled a pole this week and continued to improve with every round.
Master of The Puissance Continues Winning Streak
Against the beautiful backdrop of Bolesworth Castle, a nine-strong field of horses and riders each came forward to take on the challenge of the big red wall in the eVet Drug Puissance.
Firm favourites from the beginning, Puissance Specialists Guy Williams and Mr Blue Sky UK, delighted the crowd in every round, soaring over the wall with ease and finishing victorious over 2m15cm. Second place was secured by Puissance newcomer Ireland’s Brendan Murphy, with Erne Riverrun and Daniel McAlinden with Keatingstown Z Wellie Two in third place.
It was a real privilege to see one of the greatest Puissance horses of all time, Mr Blue Sky UK, in action at Bolesworth, and the crowd certainly showed their gratitude too! Full Results.
The Live Stage was a-buzz!
Saturday night was music night, with sets from The Brand New Heavies and DJ Trevor Nelson; the dance floor was packed with party-goers all night long.
Final Day of The Bolesworth International
Following their win on Thursday, Tony Pearson and Wyoming 19 took the top spot in the Peel Ports Logistics CSIAm 1.25m. The on-form stallion just pipped Isabella Sharifi and Iowenna to the post by half a second. Consistently-placed Aisling Byrne was third, with the talented mare Celeste Spb Z, rolling her first pole of the week.
It was tight at the top in the final of the Helite UK CSIAm 1.05m; coming out triumphant was Grace Wallace with Eau Claire V. The Calvaro Z mare has been on fantastic form, posting two wins and a second over the course of the show. Hot on Grace’s heels was Aljoud Alsabah, with Caballina riding under the Kuwait flag. Securing third place was Aisling Byrne with Bronson de Reve.
Aladdin, Nemo, Mrs Incredible, and other characters took to the main arena to contest the Northcote Stud Mini Major. This crowd-favourite class always promises fast and furious fun, where professional riders are paired with children as young as just seven years old. First, the child jumps a course of fences as fast as possible before the professional rider sets off around their set of fences.
Novelty class extraordinaire Jay Halim was still in a speedy mood following on from his win on Friday in the Lexus Chester Ride and Drive. Paired with Amelie Bradshaw, the duo were unbeatable, first in and leading all the way to the end. Finishing in second was Ben Hobday with Lorena Hanson-Lamb, and Sven Hadley with Freddie Hodges in third. With the crowd supporting every rider all the way, it was smiles all around and a great afternoon of equestrian fun!
Ireland saves the best ’till last!
The climax of the show and the moment we have all been waiting for. The Cavago CSI3* Grand Prix winner has been determined with the title going to the Irish superstar, Billy Twomey, with his own and the late Sue Davis’ Chat Botte E.D.
The last to take on the testing jump-off course, the Casall stallion cruised around the jump-off, never missing a beat, showcasing a true showjumping masterclass. Billy described the win at Bolesworth as “special for him” due to his connections with the show and those locally too. On the horse, Billy commented: “He’s an extremely talented horse, part-owned by the late Sue Davis. As a young horse, he proved challenging and headstrong but is a real winner who is super consistent in the ring.”
Following just over a second behind Billy was another Irish gem in the up-and-coming star, Jonathan Smyth, who won the HM3 Legal CSI3* 1.45m Grand Prix Qualifier on Thursday with Mulvin Lui. Third place and best of the Brits was Guy Williams with the Emerald stallion Ernie of Greenhill Z.
With only five double clears, the Cavago CSI3* Grand Prix provided the perfect final challenge to end a fantastic week of showjumping. Full Results.
A BIG thank you
To all our partners, riders, guests and exhibitors, thank you so much for spending the week with us! We couldn’t have done it without you, and the success of the International is all thanks to you guys!
Bring on 2024!