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England is to host a “full” showing international working hunter pony team competition for the first time in 15 years.

A team from New Zealand has already confirmed attendance at the competition, which will be held at the British Show Pony Society summer championships at Arena UK (26-29 August), and invitations have also been requested by Ireland, Belgium, France, Italy and South Africa.

Two teams each from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are also expected to compete.

The British Show Pony Society (BSPS) is now appealing for working hunter ponies to be made available for overseas riders.

The competition will include dressage, showjumping and traditional working hunters.

“We are hoping that our young members will not just come forward for their own teams, but also provide mounts for the visiting teams in the spirit of good competition,” said BSPS chair, Pat Pattinson.

“We have already been offered some ponies, but still need one 133cm, two 143cms and one 153cm.”

A home international — featuring teams from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales — is a regular highlight of the summer championships, but the full event, which began 31 years ago, takes place only every three or four years — hosted by a different country each time.

In 2000, the last time it was held in England, teams from Jersey, Australia and Belgium joined England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Talent-spotting/training days for England hopefuls have been held around the country, and such has been the interest that an extra date has been added: 20 June at Haddon Lodge, Haddon Lane, Ness, Wirral.

“This is a brilliant opportunity for our young members to be part of a once-in-a-lifetime occasion,” said England chef d’equipe Philip Hilton.

For more information visit: www.bsps.com

Ref: H&H 7 May, 2015