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Hickstead Equine Event Draws Stars And Crowds.

Freezing weather conditions failed to deter fans of international horse trainer Monty Roberts and others looking for bargains from visiting the Hickstead Equine Event at the All England Jumping Course last weekend (January 10-12).

Post-Christmas bargains offered by more than 80 exhibitors and a star-studded daily fun forum also helped, and attendance for the second year of this attraction, held in a giant luxury and heated marquee, was easily equal to last year's record-setting opening.

"We had made important changes to things like parking and refreshment facilities this year and everyone seemed very happy," said organiser David Crockford. "In all, about 6,000 visitors came through the doors, which is equal to the unexpectedly large crowd we had last year."

Monty Roberts signed copies of his new book "From My Hands to Yours" and entertained fans with accounts of how he worked, while eventing European Champion Pippa Funnell, showjumper Tim Stockdale and dressage trainer Dane Rawlins entertained in Hickstead versions of popular television shows.

"The Hickstead Equine Event is definitely here to stay," said David Crockford. "We are already looking at new ideas for 2004 and taking bookings from exhibitors."


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