The Charles Stanley British Masters showjumping in Chester (2-4 July) has been upgraded to a three-star international show.

Since its inception in 2008, the format has proved extremely popular and the request to upgrade the show came from the riders.

It brings the number of international showjumping competitions in Britain to six.

“This is the culmination of two years’ work between all the partners and a glowing tribute to the determination of everyone involved to deliver international showjumping to the north-west of England,” said British Showjumping’s (BS) head of communications, Maria Clayton.

“We worked out exactly what the sport needed to deliver medals in 2012 and the best ways to showcase British showjumping.”

Riders will compete for over £120,000 in prize-money and new classes include pony viewing trials, as well as six international classes — culminating in the Charles Stanley British Masters final on the Sunday.

“It is an opportunity for riders outside the top 10 or 12 in the country to compete at international level and is just what the sport needs at the moment,” said showjumper Ellen Whitaker.

Michael Mac, BS chairman of the executive board, told H&H:“We hope to get more potential sponsors on board and push for three or four more new international shows in the next few years.”

Around 1,000 horses are expected to compete over the three days in front of 20,000 spectators at the Roodee (Chester racecourse).

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (18 March, ’10)