A new owners’ series has been announced for the 2017 showing season by the British Show Horse Association (BSHA).
Specifically aimed at owners of show horses who have their charges professionally produced, the classes will run at the BSHA’s northern and southern spring shows, the Addington two-day spring show and the north of England spring and summer.
There will also be an owners’ class at the society’s national championships in September.
The entry fee is £15 per class and each winner will receive a sash. All competitors will receive a rosette. The series is sponsored by Victoria Buckland, who owns cobs with H&H columnist and producer Simon Reynolds.
A plan to introduce owner classes came about during the last national championships.
“It had been in the back of my mind for a while, because so many owners tell me it’s sad that they can’t do amateur classes,” said BSHA board member Lucy Carvall.
“I was walking around the showground noticing all the owners giving their horses a pat and watching from the sidelines. Then my friend Victoria [Buckland] started talking about the same thing and it went from there.”
Owner classes are open to mares or geldings aged four years and over and exceeding 148cms. Horses must be registered as hacks, cobs, maxi cobs or riding horses, and ridden in the ring by their owners.
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“If it takes off, we will add hunters for 2018,” said Lucy. “We’re hoping there will be a final at the national championships in September, with the top three from each class being invited to a championship during the evening performance.
“Hopefully people will take these classes in the spirit they are supposed to be. Nobody will be criticising; it’s a chance to have fun on your horse, no pressure and a low entry fee.”