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Britain’s top ten show jumpers have qualified to compete at the Horse of the Year Show at Birmingham NEC. Nick Skelton, currently ranked number one in Britain along with Michael Whitaker (2) and John Whitaker (3) has been invited to participate in the international classes at the competition – the UK’s biggest indoor equestrian event.

Four additional British riders will also be invited to compete in addition to the top 10. Qualifiers held at Towerlands (21 to 24 September) and Rowallen (15 to 17 September) will determine who will receive the wild card HOYS tickets.

BSJA rankings as at 31st July 2006

1. Nick Skelton
2. Michael Whitaker
3. John Whitaker
4. Robert Smith
5. Robert Whitaker
6. Ben Maher
7. William Funnell
8. David McPherson
9. Tim Stockdale
10. Tim Gredley

The international classes commence on Thursday 5 October and culminate the Leading Show Jumper of the Year class, which takes place during Sunday’s Gala Night performance.

As well as the top 10 show jumpers, a celebrity horse has received an invitation to compete at HOYS. Fergal, an ex-racehorse who features regularly on the set of ITV’s Emmerdale will be one of 10 former racehorses entered in the Racehorse to Riding horse class. The class is designed to demonstrate there is a life for a horse after racing and is open to both amateurs and professionals.

For more information and online booking visit www.hoys.co.uk.