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Champions Meet in Knokke, a Clash of Superstars

Quickly establishing itself as one of the top CSI5* events on the summer equestrian calendar, Knokke Hippique is attracting the world’s most successful riders to compete at the picturesque venue on the Belgium Coast. No fewer than six Olympic gold medallists are amongst the stellar line up, set to wow fans with unforgettable competition.

The action runs from 30th June – 3rd July and competitors will be travelling in from far and wide, with representatives from 19 countries competing for victory in the prestigious €300,000 Rolex Grand Prix, presented by Porsche. With the Olympics only six weeks away and the Federations releasing the long list of nominated riders for the Games, the four-day event will feature competition fiercer than ever with each rider seeking to climb the final hurdle and secure a spot on their countries Olympic teams.

Current Olympic Champion Steve Guerdat (SUI) aboard his gold medal winning horse, Nino des Buissonnets, will be using Knokke Hippique to make final preparations ahead of the Games in Rio next month where he will be vying to defend his title. He will face strong competition from fellow individual Olympic gold medalist Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) and will go head-to-head with Beezie Madden (USA), Laura Kraut (USA), Ben Maher (GRB) and Nick Skelton (GRB) who will be riding his legendary bay stallion, Big Star, all of whom have been part of Olympic gold medal winning teams. Added to the hotly contested list are four of the world’s top 10 riders, including World No.1 McLain Ward (USA), who has had an impressive run of form this summer and plans to bring his 14-year-old Olympic horse, Rothchild, along with his bay gelding, HH Carlos Z.

Pressure will also be on the home favourites to set the crowd alight, with all eyes on Gregory Wathelet who is bringing with him a solid selection of horses including his top mare Oh d’Eole. Young rising star Jos Verlooy, Jerome Guery and twin brothers Olivier and Nicola Philippaerts will also be poised to take to the hallowed arena. The Stephex home riders, Daniel Deusser (GER), Zoé Conter (BEL) and Lorenzo de Luca (ITA) will also be hoping to cause a stir amongst the field.

The unique setting and the high standard of support from international sponsors including Rolex and Porsche along with the top-class exhibitors on display suggests that this year the event is going to be bigger than ever. For those wanting something a little different, there will be a live concert each day and the Stephex Club will be putting on extra entertainment in the dedicated marquee close to the Zoute arena. Not forgetting, it will also be the last time to see these equestrian stars in action before the highly anticipated Olympic Games next month.

For a full schedule, please visit: http://knokkehippique.com.

For more information, please contact: press@stephex.com or Gayle Telford, Revolution Sports + Entertainment E: gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk T: +44 207 592 1207

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