British Eventing is relaunching its grassroots arena eventing series for 2017, which will run as a pilot at limited venues in the run up to the start of the eventing season next year.

The reformatted competitions will feature a round of show jumps followed immediately by cross-country style fences in the arena, and culminate with a joker fence set 10cm higher than the rest of the course.

The series will be open to both British Eventing (BE) members and non-members, and will run at BE80, BE90 and BE100 level.

The first of 10 qualifiers will take place at Houghton Hall Equestrian Centre in Cambridgeshire on 7 January, 2017, with the top 15% from each venue going forward to the championship at Aston Le Walls, Daventry on 11 March.

The top three combinations from the BE90 and BE100 JAS (jumping and style) championship at Hartpury in February will also be eligible to contest the final.

British Eventing Chief Executive David Holmes said: “We are looking forward to hosting BE arena eventing, with its new qualifying process for 2017, and helping riders prepare for the year ahead.

“The series provides another out-of-season opportunity for our members, along with non-members, to add to our well established JAS and jump training competitions.”

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While BE arena eventing competitions have run for the past two years as a points accumulator, organised by individual venues under own rules, this will be the first time they have formed an official series under BE’s umbrella.

“Due to the tight timescale of the pilot it has not been possible to secure as good a geographical spread [of venues] as we would have liked. However we will endeavour to roll out the arena eventing series in more venues in the coming years to enable as many BE members and non-members access to this new series as possible,” added David.

The venues are:

  • 7 January: Houghton Hall, Cambridge
  • 8 January: Bicton Arena, Devon
  • 14 January: Onley Grounds, Warwickshire
  • 21 January: Epworth EC, Doncaster
  • 4 February: Epworth EC, Doncaster
  • 5 February: Wickstead Horseplay, Swindon
  • 11 February: Dallas Burston Polo Club, Warwickshire
  • 12 February: Mendip Plains, Somerset
  • 25 February: Petley Wood, East Sussex
  • 26 February: Moreton Morrell, Warwickshire
  • Championship 11 March: Aston le Walls, Northamptonshire

The championship offers winners of each class a full BE membership for 2017 and a horse season pass, plus £100 training voucher. Second and third placed combinations take home training vouchers to the value of £75 and £50 respectively.

Entries open shortly and will be available under the fixtures and results page of BE’s website.