Four of Britain’s most talented young showing riders will be representing Britain in a new international team competition at the Ponies (UK) 2005 summer championships, which are taking place at Newark & Notts showground on 16 to 20 August, 2005.

The International Showman’s Team Challenge will see four riders from South Africa, Australia and the United Kingdom compete in a head-to-head showing competition, which will see the victorious team crowned as the “International Showman’s Team Of The Year”.

Each of the riders, who will be between 14 and 18 years of age, will ride horses unknown to them and will be required to demonstrate their showing talents by performing an individual show and presenting their animals in hand. Two riders from each team will compete on the flat, while the remaining two riders will demonstrate their ability over fences.

The competition is the brainchild of PUK chairman Davina Whiteman, and will be judged purely on the rider’s ability to “show” the horses to their best in front of an international panel of top showing judges.

“The idea came about while Mrs Whiteman was judging over in South Africa. She got chatting to her fellow international judges from South Africa and Australia and so the idea was born,” explains Ponies (UK) spokesperson Betsy Branyan. “Next year the challenge will be held in South Africa, and we hope that it will take place in Australia in 2007.”

The competition will be held during the opening days of the show, with the winning team presentation taking place on Wednesday evening’ gala performance.

P(UK) will select the British team through its new P(UK) / Shires Equestrian Elite Riders Programme, and is looking for horses to be offered to take part in the championships. For more details contact head office (tel: 01487 830278).