The popular Grasshoppers style and performance show jumping series, run by British Eventing and Equine Affairs, is back after a year’s break and will be open to even more grass-roots event riders this year.

The series has been extended to include riders aged 12 years and over, ponies from 142cm and four-year-old horses.

The series was originally developed to help riders establish good techniques as they begin their eventing careers, and offers training, advice and support within a competitive environment. The forthcoming series will include Pre-Novice classes for the first time, as well as warm-up clear round opportunities. Each rider receives a score sheet with comments at the end of the competition.

A spokesperson for Equine Affairs told HHO: “During the past year we have been working hard to improve the Grasshoppers series by changing the format to make it more rider-friendly.

“Instead of riders jumping one round then hanging around while everyone else jumps, we have condensed the action so each rider gets help warming up from one trainer, then jumps two rounds straight after each other with advice in between from a second trainer. This gives maximum benefit to riders in the shortest possible time.”

Other developments for this year’s series include a points league which will run across all the qualifiers, online entries (from Monday 11 December), times for each rider and trainers being announced in advance on the grasshoppers website: www.grasshopperssj.com

This year’s competitions are being held around the country with the final at Warwickshire College on 29 April, 2007.

Grasshoppers dates

  • 11 February 2007 – Hartpury College
  • 14 February 2007 – Arena UK
  • 16 February 2007 – Norton Heath
  • 18 February 2007 – Solihull Equestrian Centre
  • 25 February 2007 – Golden Cross
  • 5 April 2007 – Patchetts
  • 7 April 2007 – Milton Keynes Eventing Centre
  • 12 April 2007 – West Wilts
  • 29 April 2007 – Final at Warwickshire College

Have you taken part in Grasshoppers? Do you think the changes are a step in the right direction? Let us know your thoughts on the series by emailing hheditor@ipcmedia.com