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British Under-25 Champion Bubby Upton Heads to The Eventing Spring Carnival for Pre-Badminton Run

The current British Under-25 Champion, Bubby Upton has chosen The Eventing Spring Carnival as her pre-Badminton run with long-time ride Cola III.

A first-timer at Badminton, Bubby recently hit the headlines when adding an amazing three new advanced horses to her string earlier this year.

But it is on her well-established partner Cola III that Bubby will compete at The Eventing Spring Carnival at Thoresby Park in Nottinghamshire before heading to Gloucestershire in May.

Said 23-year-old Bubby: “I competed at the re-routed Osberton at Thoresby Park in 2020 and thought then what a fantastic venue it was so am really pleased to be going back.

“I immediately loved the venue with Thoresby Hall in the background, it is just beautiful and I would encourage anyone who used to go to Belton to make the trip to Nottinghamshire for The Eventing Spring Carnival.

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“It is brilliant for our sport to have a new venue like this and you can’t beat galloping across old parkland turf.

“I was fortunate to have a good run with Cooley As Ice in the British Eventing Six-year-old championship when finishing third so that also helped.

“To have the dressage held on the lawns in front of the hall was just brilliant and without doubt the venue has real potential.

“I have a great relationship with Cola III but obviously want a good run and the perfect preparation before Badminton, as it will be the toughest challenge we have ever faced. So I really hope that the going is as good as possible and that the cross-country course sets a few challenges to test me and Cola, which will ensure we are sharp and ready for our Badminton debut!”

Newmarket-based Bubby look set for a busy three days at The Eventing Spring Carnival and is hoping to take six horses for the Advanced and 4* sections.

Bubby currently combines eventing with studying in her final year at Edinburgh University for a degree in Sports Management.

Added Bubby: “Life suddenly became even more busy with the arrival of the three new horses and now I travel to Edinburgh early on a Monday morning, leave late on a Tuesday after lectures and am then at home with the horses for the rest of the week.

“We are all set for a very exciting season and there are lots of plans in place so a few good early runs will help, especially with the new horses that I am getting to know.”

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Bubby’s new team include Chedington Equestrian’s 2019 Blenheim young horse champion Clever Louis, 12, and the 11-year-old four-star campaigner Jefferson 18, who were both previously campaigned by Chris Burton for Australia.

She has also taken over the reins of the experienced campaigner Billy Liffy, owned by Viscount and Viscountess Rothermere. The 15-year-old gelding, by Billy Congo, has top 10 results at four-star and competed to CCI5* with Britain’s Olivia Craddock and Australia’s Sam Griffiths. 

Said Bubby: “It really was a pinch myself moment.  I feel so, so lucky to have been trusted by their owners and to have been given these opportunities.  To be given rides on horses of this calibre is what we all dream of.”

Bubby is the reigning under-25 national champion and a multiple youth gold medal-winner. She was long-listed on two horses for the senior Europeans last year, but her season came to an abrupt halt owing to illness and injury. 

Her Badminton debut is the first major target of the year, aboard Cola III, with more five-stars on her provisional calendar through the 2022 season.

“I just can’t wait to graduate and to give eventing my all, and see what I can achieve when riding is my sole focus,” she added.

To find out more about The Eventing Spring Carnival – April 1 to 3 – visit www.bede-events.co.uk

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