Borders eventing star coming home

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One of Scotland’s bright international hopes is making the trip home to compete alongside Zara Phillips and other top riders at the Hopetoun Horse Trials later this month.

Borderer Charlotte Agnew, who grew up at Hendersyde Park, Kelso, was ranked No.1 Scottish event rider in the FEI world ranking in 2011 at 23 years old and again the following year.

“I am very excited to be returning to my homeland and particularly to Hopetoun – as this is where I won one of my first junior regional finals,” said Charlotte, who moved to Gloucestershire to further her equine career. Charlotte’s mum Livi Agnew, who organises the Hendersyde Park Horse Trials in August, will come to Hopetoun with husband James to watch Charlotte in action on June 26-28.

They all have their fingers crossed that her next trip to Scotland may be for the European Championships at Blair Castle in September.

“I am hoping Out of Africa (horse owned by her parents) might get selected,” added Charlotte.

“It would be very special for me as I have so many good memories of Blair. It was there we won team gold at the Young Rider European Championships.”

Zara Phillips is one of the top international event riders competing at the event set on the banks of the Forth in the stunning setting of Hopetoun.

A former world champion and Olympic silver medalist, Zara made her first trip to Hopetoun last year with husband Mike Tindall and baby Mia. She returns with three one-star horses as well as her two-star ride, Watkins. Other top internationals appearing include Sir Mark Todd, named the event rider of the 20th century.

He won back-to-back individual Olympic gold medals, four Badminton victories and five wins at Burghley.