He who dares wins as Ian Stark builds acid test with Rio in mind

Ian Stark pictured on the Course at Bramham Park
Ian Stark pictured on the Course at Bramham Park
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COURSE designer Ian Stark is counting down the days to the Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials where he says bravery could be rewarded with a spot in Rio.

Stark and course builder David Evans have assembled another challenging cross-country course for around 170 horse and rider combinations competing over four events from next Thursday.

In addition to the usual showcase Equi-Trek CCI three-star, the Bishop Burton College Under-25s CCI three-star and British Equestrian Trade Association CIC three-star, Stark’s cross-country course will also prove key in the inaugural Bramham leg of the Event Rider Masters.

This year’s course is the result of 11 months of planning, siting and building – and ultimately the seventh project since Stark was recruited to Bramham. With the Rio Olympics just around the corner, few – bar the pre-London Games 2012 event perhaps – will have been more important.

“I can’t believe it’s my seventh year – where has the time gone!” laughed Stark.

“It feels like only yesterday that I went through the nervous agonies of my first CCI3* with Bramham.

“It’s been such a fantastic park to work in with amazing features and I enjoy being able to set a test for the riders which utilises them along with combining good, old fashioned bravery and modern thinking. This year’s course encompasses just that so I’m looking forward to seeing brave horses and riders rewarded, perhaps even with a spot in Rio.”

For info and tickets visit www.bramham-horse.co.uk