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New sponsor Ford gives a prize boost to the Eventing Grand Prix

The winner of the Eventing Grand Prix at this year's Longines Royal International Horse Show (July 21-25) will get a year's loan of a luxury, 4x4 Ford Ranger Thunder worth more than £18,000 and provided by new sponsor, Ford of Britain

It will mean the winner of the now annual duel between event riders and showjumpers will take home, not only a brand new vehicle but £3,000 in cash as well.

The Ford Ranger Eventing Grand Prix, scheduled this year for the second day of the show (Thursday, July 22) at the All England Jumping Course, Hickstead, is unique to the international show circuit.

Entry is by invitation only, and the course, starting and finishing in the International Arena, includes many of Hickstead's famous permanent obstacles, showjumps and a section outside the arena consisting of specially designed, cross-country jumps including a river crossing.

"The Ford Range Thunder is a fantastic vehicle for people in the equine business, competitors and associated professionals such as vets. Ranger Thunder is a natural partner for a prestige event in the equine calendar such as the Eventing Grand Prix," said Gary Whittam, commercial vehicles director, Ford of Britain.

"The pick-up market in Britain is changing and customers are looking for style and quality as well as functionality. That's why we have created Thunder. It's a style statement for successful business people with a 'go anywhere, do anything' lifestyle, and from a company who knows how to built great pick-ups,"

Douglas Bunn, Hickstead's innovative and pioneering owner, said: "Ford of Britain's involvement in this class is a great compliment to the competition, which in seven years has become immensely popular with competitors and public alike."

The Ranger Thunder is a special edition of the Ford Ranger series and the first to have a full leather interior. The towing capability is up to 2800kg - enough for a loaded double horse trailer.



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Updated: October 2005.