The new British Showjumping Riders Association (BSRA) now has legal status and a constitution, and, contrary to rumour, is open to all BSJA members.
The association was started last year by a group of international riders who were unhappy about the direction in which the sport in Britain is travelling.
They are hoping first to tackle the three main problems experienced by show jumpers at every level – high entry fees, low prize-money and bad going. They are also intending to run shows themselves and are trying to raise the profile of the sport, so that it will once again be considered for prime television airtime.
“The association isn’t offering itself as an alternative to the BSJA. On the contrary, we hope to work in close harmony with our governing body,” says acting chairman Robert Smith, who heads an elected five-man committee with James Fisher, John Whitaker, Nick Skelton and Tim Stockdale.
“We want to make the sport more professional, which, in turn, will make it easier topromote,” says Robert. “More sponsorship will benefit everyone, from the grassroots riders to those on championship teams. We also need better facilities at shows to look after the owners whose horses we ride.”
Membership fees are set on a sliding scale according to riders’ positions on the BSJA rankings list, with the more successful riders paying more.
From now until 1 January 2004, the membership fees are as follows (using the ranking list at 31 December 2002): ranking 1-50:£150; 51-100: £100; 101 down: £75. Fees will then be payable annually according to the end-of-year ranking list.
“We really need every BSJA member’s support to move our sport into the 21st century,” says Robert.
BSJA members interested in joining the association should send an SAE to: The Secretary, British Showjumping Riders Association, Prince’s Halfyards, Stebbing Road, Felsted, Essex CM6 3LG. (tel: 01371 820392).
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