The BSJA Junior Scholarship, which was launched last year, will continue for 2004, thanks to support by the Pony of the Year Show (POYS).

The scholarship gives winning riders at major UK competitions the opportunity to enjoy two days training with a BSJA accredited trainer. If a winning rider has already qualified for the scholarship, the scholarship will be awarded to the next highest placed rider not previously qualified.

Qualifying classes for the scholarships will include all grand prix classes at POYS, all junior championship classes at the BSJA Festival of Show Jumping, the Royal International Horse Show and Horse of the Year Show, and the AK Classic Championship at the Royal Show.

Traditionally, profits from POYS have been reinvested in the show to offer generous prize money and prizes in kind. Jacky Wood, chief executive of the BSJA, explained that it was encouraging proof of the industry’s desire to invest in the future of the sport.

Ms Wood says: “Any initiative that encourages training is a step in the right direction. Sponsorship from successful shows such as the Pony of the Year Show is indicative of the strength of pony show jumping in Britain and emulates BSJA ponies’ success both at home and abroad. This BSJA scholarship is set to help continue the line of success.”

In 2003, 39 scholarships were awarded but to date a disappointing number of qualifiers have taken up their scholarships, although this may be because riders have up to 12 months after the date of the show at which they qualified to take up the training.

The BSJA is delighted that POYS is continuing its support of junior initiatives, and hopes that this generous support will be taken full advantage of over the coming year.