A new National Schools Series has been launched by British Eventing and the National Schools Equestrian Association.

Riders, aged between 12 and 18, will take part in regional qualifiers next year, with the best put into regional squads to compete in a final at Stonar School, Wiltshire in May 2012.

NSEA already runs inter-schools equestrian competitions, where children compete as a school team. But the new series will have children competing as individuals, still representing their schools, in the regional squads.

The regional qualifiers will run at BE90 open and BE100 open level at BE events, leading to a national championship where eight regional squads at each level will compete for a national title. Qualification will begin from July 2011.

Pupils can be from any school or further education college.

Jill Barker of the NSEA: “Equestrian sport is an important part of many youngsters’ lives and their efforts often fail to get recognised in school. The highs and lows that riders experience with horses are very good lessons in life. Tenacity and sheer hard work do pay off.

“Being part of a regional squad to compete at the National Championships should bring great kudos not only to the rider but also their school.”

Each school must be registered to NSEA in order for their riders to compete in the series.

Horses and riders must either be a BE member or have a BE day ticket in order to compete — discount codes can be obtained from NSEA to enable competitors to obtain BE day tickets for just £10.

For more information visit: www.nsea.co.uk