A nationwide showjumping and dressage competition launched by the Professional Show Organisers Association (PSOA) will give an estimated 200,000 unaffiliated competitors an opportunity to compete in a national championship at the British Equestrian Centre, Stoneleigh in 2001.

Sponsored by South Essex Insurance Brokers, the competitition is supported by BHS and Horse & Hound, and will take place at 30 PSOA centres around the country in 2001.

South Essex Insurance Brokers sales and marketing manager Nicolina MacKenzie, said: “So much is done to encourage affiliated riders, but it seemed to us that unaffiliated competitors are all-but ignored. Trailblazers fills a huge gap in the equestrian calendar and South Essex will do everything itcan to help.”

Horse & Hound Editor Arnold Garvey offered the magazine’s support saying: “unaffiliated competitors are the backbone of the horse world and they deserve encouragement and support. These national competitions will encourage them to improve their skills and hopefully go on to compete in the affiliated arena.”

The Trailblazers showjumping will be run for both seniors and juniors with courses at various heights – 75cms, 85cms, 95cms and 1.05m. Dresssage tests will be at preliminary, novice and elementary levels.

Competitors will complete a free numbered registration form and get in return proof of registration, enabling them to enter as many competitions at whichever venues they choose. Riders achieving two clear jumpingrounds or a dressage mark of 58 % or better in the first round will qualify for second rounds . After qualifying in a first round and to go forward to the next they will be asked to complete a registration card to be returned within two weeks, togetherwith £10, to the venue where they qualified.

Fixtures will be published in Horse & Hound and at participating centres. Second round results will also appear in Horse & Hound and all results will be on the magazine’s and BHS websites.

Participating centres will run second round competitions in March or April for riders who qualified between September and the end of March and again in July or August for those qualifying between April and the end of July. The final will be at the British Equestrian Centre, Stoneleigh on September 14-16, 2001.

Centres currently involved are: Conrhenny Jumping Show, Douglas, Isle of Man

Hands Equestrian Centre, Clevedon, Avon

Blue Barn Stables, Ashford, Kent

West Wilts Equestrian Centre, Trowbridge, Wilts

Stainsby Grange Riding Centre, Stockton on Tees, Cleveland

Catherston Stud, Whitchurch, Hants

Limes Farm Equestrian Centre, Folkestone, Kent

Duckhurst Farm Equestrian Centre, Staplehurst, Kent

Wing Jumping and Dressage Centre, Leighton Buzzard, Beds

Lordsbridge Show Centre, Cambridge, Cambs

Moorhouse Equestrian Centre, Doncaster, South Yorks

Longwood Equestrian Centre, Hockley, Essex

Forest of Dean Equestrian Centre, Lydney, Glos

Solihull Riding Club, Solihull, West Midlands

College Equestrian Centre, Keysoe, Beds

Blewbury Show Centre, Didcot, Oxon

Richmond Equestrian Centre, Richmond, North Yorks

Bold Heath Equestrian Centre, Widnes, Cheshire

Field House Show Centre, Uttoxeter, Staffs

Markfield Equestrian Centre, Markfield, Leics

Forest Edge Stud, Swaffam, Norfolk

Blackdyke Show Centre, Carlisle, Cumbria

Greenlands Equestrian Centre, Carlisle, Cumbria

Osbaldeston Riding Centre, Blackburn, Lancs

Sykehouse Arena, Doncaster, South Yorks

Arena UK, Grantham, Lincs

Rowallan Riding Centre, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire

Tall Trees Equestrian Centre, Calelford, Cornwall

Northallerton Equestrian Centre, Northallerton, North Yorks.

Stowe Ridings Club, Towcester, Northants