This weekend (24-28 October) sees eventing’s HSBC FEI Classics kick off in Pau, with members from the gold, silver and bronze medal-winning teams at London 2012 all taking part.
Britain’s olympic team silver medallist William Fox-Pitt, has three horses entered: Navigator, the 2010 runner-up who is back in action after a year off with an injury; Bramham winner Chilli Morning; and My Hero, who was a runner-up at Blenheim CIC3* in the eight and nine-year-old class.
William, who is defending his 2012 title, is hotly contested, as he also won the series in 2010 and 2008.
It was Mary King who took the crown from her team mate William in 2011. For the inaugural event in Pau she will be riding Imperial Cavalier, who came fourth there last year, as well as her home-bred mare Kings Temptress, who won Kentucky in the same year.
Another one to watch this weekend is Michael Jung, the first rider in history to hold olympic, world and European titles all at the same time. He will be riding Leopin FST, the horse which took him to victory on home ground in Luhmühlen earlier this year.
Alongside the gold and silver medalist will be the four of the bronze winning New Zealand team. Jonathan Paget is entered with Clifton Promise, Caroline Powell will be riding Onwards And Upwards, and Mark Todd is partnering Major Milestone.
Andrew Nicholson is also entered with Nereo, on whom he came fourth individually at the olympics and Mr Cruise Control, who came second at Pau last year.
The Kiwi rider is on fire right now, and currently top of the HSBC Rankings following three international wins in six weeks. Could he be the one to take the FEI Classics trophy from British hands for the first time since the series started in 2008?
The HSBC FEI Classics season links the world’s six CCI4* competitions across three continents. The next event is in Adelaide (22-25 November), followed by Kentucky, Badminton, Luhmuhlen and finally Burghley next September.