Bramham horse trials (9-12 June) has been granted CCIO status for its under-25 section this year. In a move that will provide valuable experience for youngsters, the FEI has approved the team event — which has taken place sporadically before, but never in Britain.
National equestrian federations are to receive schedules at the end of January inviting them to send squads of four riders to compete at the event. Individuals may also be allowed, pending approval by the FEI. One rider in each squad will have to be under-21 and Britain, as host nation, is allowed to have two teams.
The competition, which is to be in the same format and run alongside the usual CCI***, is a one-off for the moment, but could be repeated if it proves popular and cost-effective.
Sue Benson’s cross-country course will be built over improved old turf that has been brought up to “racecourse level” with the help of the Sports Turf Research Institute.
Jonathan Clissold, sport and technical manager at British Eventing, says: “Having an FEI team competition is going to be great for giving youngsters the feel of riding in a team at a top event.”
Young rider selector Alex Colquhoun adds: “However good riders are, there is a huge gap between under-21 and senior teams. It takes a rider about nine years to make the leap to seniors and this will help bridge the gap.”
Entries may be largely from Europe, due to the cost of sending teams from further afield, but organisers hope that at least eight countries will send squads.
To contact Bramham (tel: 01937 846005) or visit: www.bramham-horse.co.uk