Horse of the Year Show will offer international prize money than ever before, organisers Grandstand Media Ltd have announced.
The international prize fund is set to increase by more than 10% to £86,400 and taking the total across the entire event to almost £140,000.
The Golden Bear International Challenge is to be a major new international feature competition included in the increased prize fund. It is designed to carry sufficient prize money to award riders world ranking points, as the Leading Show Jumper of the Year class already does.
Grandstand Media Director Mark Wein says: “We want to bring up HOYS international reputation to attract more top level international riders.
“That is not to detract from the domestic show jumping competitions in any way – they remain as prestigious as ever – but it is very closely associated with the increased inward investment which we see as being the keystone to the continuing success of the event.”
On the domestic front, the supreme Showing championships are also onto a winner as it has been confirmed that both the PricewaterhouseCoopers Supreme Horse of the Year and the Lyndsie Kelbie Supreme Pony of the Year will each receive £1,000.
“These are very much Blue Riband events,” explains Mark Wein, “and now we want to give the supreme champions a material value – recognise when they have got to the top end.”
Organisers have also confirmed that there will be four wild card places offered for the international show jumping classes. Two qualifying events will take place at the Rowallan Equestrian Centre in Scotland (10-12 September) and at Towerlands Equestrian Centre in Essex (24-26 September).
Both qualifiers will offer an identical format consisting of three qualifying classes over three days, with the two top placed horse and rider combinations going forward to contest the Section 3 international classes in Birmingham in October.
“This will give in-form riders outside of the top 45 who traditionally qualify or are invited to compete the chance to compete in the international classes at HOYS,” says Mark Wein.
“It also enhances the shows at which the qualifiers take place, as there is a huge element of prestige attached,” he added.