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2020 Olympics to have ‘little bit of Blenheim’

There will be a little bit of Blenheim at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 after a Blenheim-based course designer was chosen to build the cross-country horse trials course.

David Evans, course-designer and course-builder at the SsangYong Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, and his team will build the Derek di Grazia-designed course in Japan’s capital.

Evans, who lives near Blenheim, is considered one of Britain’s best and most popular course-builders.

Among his many accolades he has worked at venues such as Chatsworth, Bramham, Gatcombe and Burgham, as well as events in Europe such as Luhmühlen CCI4.

He said: “I have visited the site – it is fantastic and involves very interesting terrain.

“The organising committee are very welcoming and are doing everything in their power to help us.”

Evans and his team built the Mike Etherington-Smith-designed track at the 2008 Olympics in Hong Kong.

Last year he designed Blenheim’s CIC3 track and, earlier this year, he took over the CCI3 course at the SsangYong Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials for the first time.

Event director Mandy Hervieu said: “I am delighted that David and his excellent team have been awarded this prestigious contract for Tokyo.

“Blenheim’s cross-country courses are superbly built and beautifully presented, with outstanding attention to detail, and it is great to think that there will once more be a ‘little bit of Blenheim’ at the Olympics.”

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