Zara Tindall will perform the guinea pig dressage test at Chedington Bicton Horse Trials tomorrow (Friday, 3 September). The former world and European champion will ride Gleadhill House Stud Ltd’s 12-year-old chestnut Class Affair, starting the test at 9am.
The guinea pig rider at a three-day event runs through the dressage test before the start of the competition, to allow the event systems to all be tested and the ground jury to get their eye in before the first proper competitor. The guinea pig does not test the cross-country or showjumping courses; only those taking part in the event ride these.
Zara Tindall: Bicton Horse Trials guinea pig ahead of Aachen
The dressage guinea pig at a five-star event is often a young rider who has not yet ridden at the level, but who is invited to be the guinea pig to gain experience. Sometimes, if a five-star is shortly before a team competition, a member of the British team will be given the chance to be the guinea pig to give their horse experience of doing a test in a big arena and atmosphere.
Zara has not had many eventing starts this year as she had her third child at the end of March. She has been named to ride Class Affair on the British team at Aachen later this month, so this will serve as good practice ahead of that outing.
The Bicton Horse Trials dressage times have been released now and the first competitor will go into the arena at 9.30am, around 20 minutes after Zara finishes her test. David Doel is the first to go, on Galileo Nieuwmoed.
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Credit: Pippa Roome
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