Tattersalls Horse Trials, Ireland, will host an under-25 CCI** this year rather than the young rider CCI** it held in 2008.
Organisers and officials hope the new higher age limit will increase the number of entries in this class — last year’s young rider CCI** only had five starters — and the level of competition.
Entries will now be restricted to riders who have their 19th birthday in 2009 to those who have their 24th birthday in 2009, whereas the upper age limit in the old young rider class was riders in the year of their 21st birthday.
Horse Sport Ireland’s (HSI) junior and young rider coach, Cmdt Brian McSweeney, said: “The major benefit I see from my position as young rider coach is that it will greatly increase the competitiveness of the class, and make our riders up their game a little bit.
“It will also attract overseas riders who will be looking for a good two-star event to go to if they are planning, say, to compete at Bramham a fortnight later. But I do hope we’ll get an Irish winner.”
Last year’s young rider CCI** was won by British eventer Paul Whitehead, with Irish riders second and third.
The managing director of Tattersalls, George Mernagh, said: “This is the only class that there is a change to this year, and we believe that by making it an under-25 class it will attract more riders.”
Tattersalls runs from 28 to 31 May this year.