Team chasing is to make its TV debut on 27 May when coverage of the Goring Hotels National Championships at the Fernie will be shown on Sky Sports Extra and Sky Sports 2. The Fernie has also committed to host the finals for the next three years.

This is a significant boost for team chasing, which decided it should remain an amateur sport with professional standards, both for fairness and safety, at its national conference at Cheltenham recently.

“Interest in team chasing is growing and we are delighted that SKY has agreed to broadcast the national championships, which show the sport at its most challenging and exciting,” says Joe Cowen, team chase committee chairman.

“We believe team chasing will be of great interest to a wide audience and hope the TV coverage will introduce it to many more potential competitors.”

According to Joe, at the lowest level team chasing is easily within the reach of most riding club competitors and is easier to get involved in that many disciplines due to the simple skills required.

“If you can canter and jump solid fences with a couple of friends, then you can come team chasing,” he says. “Many classes are run with a bogey time to encourage riders to learn the skills of riding in a team across country without going against the clock.”

More AGM news

The popularity of the hunt teams class at the national championships has led the sport’s governing body, the Masters of Foxhounds Association, to hold a class at the Badsworth event in March 2004.

There was considerable enthusiasm for a suggestion to extend the season, which depends on the potential hosts of extra dates, and an extra event has already been added for this autumn, organised by the Readyfield Bloodhounds.

LordVestey, who rode in the very first team chase event at Hickstead with the sport’s founder Douglas Bunn, presented the inaugural team of the year title to the Forge Flyers.

Read the full story inthis week’s Horse & Hound (8 May), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.