The BHS Riding Club European Eventing Championship, also known as ‘Rural Riders’, has been accepted by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) as an FEI event.

The event is set at CIC** level and riders who complete the event will be able to count it as a qualification towards CCI** and CIC*** events.

Last year’s event was hosted by British Riding Clubs (BRC) at Hartpury College, Gloucester, when Great Britain won the bronze team medal. Germany took individual and team gold plus individual silver, with Belgium second in the team event and third in the individual.

Peter Buist, vice-chairman of BRC and organiser of the 2002 event, says: “This is great news for the riders and will be an extra incentive for people to take part. It will also make life easier for organisers and officials as for the first time we will have a fully defined set of rules.”

About Rural Riders

The event is open to national teams of six riders, plus two reserve riders who compete as individuals. The team competition has four phases:

  • team dressage (whole team ride the test together)
  • individual dressage
  • cross-country
  • show jumping

Preparations are underway for this year’s championship, which are taking place at Minderhout, Belgium (15 – 20 July). BRC is accepting applications from members who would like to be considered for the team. Interested parties should contact Hilary McKenna (tel: 0191 420 6921) or email: hilary.mckenn@virgin.net

The first of a number of training and selection trials will take place at Brooksby College, Melton Mowbray, on 14-15 February. Captain Richard Waygood will continue as Chef d’Equipe and team trainer.

  • BRC are organising a ‘Home International’ Rural Riders event at its Eventing Championship at Offchurch Bury in August 2003. The competition will run over the ‘Special Open’ cross-country course at British Eventing Intermediate level.

    To find out more about Rural Rider visit: www.bhs.org.uk