The London International Horse Show at Olympia has announced that it will invite only the top 10 BSJA-ranked competitors who have started in a Nations Cup in the previous 18 months.

The top 10 list will be based on the BSJA rankings at 30 September 2005. British European Championship Team competitors who are not in the top 10 will also be eligible for invitation, with the exception of reserve riders.

The Nations Cup rule had originally been devised for the 2004 edition of the show, but a breakdown in communication meant that some riders were not informed of the change in qualification criteria. The organising committee, which includes Tim Stockdale, Michael Bates and Tom Hudson, decided at the time to waive the rule, but they have brought it back for 2005.

Jackey Knightley, a spokeswoman for the British Show Jumping Association who is writing a book on the history of show jumping, points out that in the past a number of shows required competitors to be members of the British team. “Actually, it’s going back to what it used to be,” she says.

Had the rule been in place at Olympia last year “only two riders would have changed,” according to Knightley, “because the top 10 show jumpers tend to be in Nations Cup team anyway.” However, she says, “I do think it will make a difference [going forward]. There are, on occasion, riders who haven’t been on the Nations Cup team and this will encourage them to put themselves forward for the British team, which is a good thing.”

The London International Horse Show at Olympia will take place from 13 to 20 December ’05.