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Bolesworth sets the scene for Rio Olympics with four days of top action

Show was hailed a success following flash floods at Bolesworth Castle

Rio hopefuls have dubbed a Cheshire-based international showjumping competition as ‘hugely important’ less than two weeks ahead of the announcement of the Olympic team.

Bolesworth International brought sports stars and celebrities to the county for the four-day-show including Chelsea boss Roman Abramovich who was there to support his daughters Sofia and Ariana.

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Performance manager for Team GB showjumping Di Lampard, who was in Cheshire for the world class competition, called Bolesworth ‘hugely important as an event for spotting talent and monitoring the performance of key horses ahead of Rio.’

As well as finding Olympic stars of the future, visiting crowds had the opportunity to meet London 2012 gold medal-winning teams for both dressage and showjumping disciplines.

Carl Hester, Laura Tomlinson and Charlotte Dujardin hosted a public Q&A session in the new Equine Learning Zone where they discussed their hopes for Rio selection.

Carl also treated a packed Bolesworth crowd to a winning dressage performance to his music being prepared for Brazil in the Grand Prix Freestyle competition to music on Thursday evening.

On the final Sunday London 2012 Team GB gold medal-winning showjumpers Ben Maher, Scott Brash and Nick Skelton were all involved in the much-anticipated final competition the Bolesworth Grand Prix, but rising Dutch star Michel Hendrix took the £19,500 prize home and raised a glass to his appropriately-named horse Baileys who took him to victory.

Ben Maher on Diva at Bolesworth(Image: Trevor Meeks)

Show president Nina Barbour closed the show by extending her thanks and appreciation to all concerned following what were, at times, testing conditions after torrential rainfall hit the show site at Bolesworth Castle.

Addressing riders, spectators, sponsors, traders and friends of Bolesworth, Nina said: “Five days of truly world-class international showjumping finished at the Bolesworth International.

“The week started with unprecedented rainfall which resulted in flash flooding of the event site.

“Firstly, I would like to extend a huge thank you to the whole team here at Bolesworth who worked tirelessly round the clock, primarily to ensure the safety and well-being of the 800 horses on site, which throughout the week has been our absolute priority.

“Secondly, I would like to thank all involved with our incredible event, and the support and understanding they gave us throughout the five days.”

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