British Eventing’s (BE) under-18 system has undergone a radical shake-up that will bring its three programmes — BE100JR, JRN (junior regional novice) and juniors — under one umbrella.

The changes, to be implemented for 2011, come as a result of a major review carried out by BE in May.

They are designed to ease progression through the levels and allow for the establishment of a nationwide coaching network.

“The existing junior structure was put in place 30 years ago and the sport has changed significantly since then,” said BE sport manager Paul Graham.

The changes mean that any rider under the age of 18 — except those registered on the pony programme — will have the opportunity to attend coaching sessions on a regular basis.

“It will not only open up doors for those competing at BE90 level, but will also help us identify talent at an earlier stage,” said Mr Graham.

Between two and three coaches will be appointed for each of the eight regions and there will be fortnightly training sessions, which will be self-funded.

More on this story in this week’s Horse & Hound.