British Eventing (BE) has taken action to halt a decline in the number of Scottish horse trials, with extra dates and classes and a new venue for the 2014 Central Scotland Horse Trials.
But some Scots, especially those at intermediate level, still feel it is not enough.
Wet weather devastated Scottish venues last year, contributing to the loss of Central Scotland Horse Trials at Scone and Balcarres (news, 4 October 2012) and Brechin Castle and Oatridge (news, 17 January).
One eventer, who did not wish to be named, said: “After 10-odd years of being a member of BE, I’ve walked away. The drastic reduction [in the number of] events would add huge travelling time and costs to any I entered.”
Brechin Castle organiser David Reid told H&H: “The way Scottish eventing is going there will soon not be any in Scotland.”
BE has announced extra dates for Burgie and Hopetoun, at Eden Valley in Cumbria and Belsay and Kirkley Hall, both in Northumberland.
Additional classes, up to one-star, will be held at Hopetoun International and Floors Castle in Scotland, at Thornton Watlass, Breckenborough and Richmond in North Yorkshire and at Burgham I and II in Northumberland.
But with just three intermediate events in Scotland and one CIC**, riders such as Sarah Clark — who lives near Glasgow and is trying to qualify her horse at two-star — feel overlooked.
“There is little for Scottish riders once you reach a certain level,” she said.
Neither new Scottish date offers a run at above novice.
BE’s Chris Farr said: “We appreciate that there are still a few areas of the calendar that could be better, including intermediate runs.
“We are doing all we can to fill in any gaps and will do so where possible as quickly as we can. Further updates will be posted as soon as they become available.”
Central Scotland will move to Dalkeith Country Park near Edinburgh, but will not run this year.
Organiser James Oakden said: “Due to the weather, time and financial constraints, we will develop the site this year so we’re ready to start in 2014.”
This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (31 January, 2013)