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Page last updated at 20:54 GMT, Tuesday, 7 July 2009 21:54 UK

World Cup qualifier for Gatcombe

Zara Phillips
Capt Phillips' daughter Zara is a regular competitor at Gatcombe Park

Captain Mark Phillips believes a World Cup qualifier will help make the 2009 Festival of British Eventing a success despite the recession.

Phillips and event director Tim Henson have had to cope with reduced sponsorship and a reduced budget.

Phillips told BBC Gloucestershire: "It's been exceedingly hard work and times are tough."

"Tim has gone over and above the call of duty to put on the sort of show we are all so proud of."

The Festival of British Eventing takes place over the weekend of August 7/8.

It will be the 28th year Gatcombe has hosted an event and to mark the occasion the cross-country course has been extended with an extra loop and two more fences to comply with World Cup regulations.

Phillips added: "The credit crunch has made us think harder about how we can put on a better show but reduce our costs.

"It's only the second time we've had World Cup qualifier at Gatcombe and that should mean more international riders than we've had for several years.

"We've tried to keep down the number of new fences on the cross-country course. But we think we've shuffled the pack pretty well to give it a different feel."

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