British Eventing has launched a new championship competition for Britain’s best four-, five- and six-year-old event horses, with £1,000 going to top horses in the five- and six-year-old classes.
The first BE Breeding Championships will take place on 14 October at Tweseldown in Hampshire. The top 50five- and six-year-olds registered with British Eventing will be eligible, while the four-year-olds will be selected from suitable horses competing in other young event horse competitions.
The six-year-olds will contest an open novice with an open pre-novice for the five-year-olds. A “combined training” demonstration competition at intro level will be used for the four-year-olds this year, with the jumping round including some portable cross-country fences as well as show jumps.
Patrick Rolfe, BE breeding committee member, explains: “The BE Breeding Championships have been introduced to raise awareness and appreciation of breeding in general and British breeding in particular.
“We believe that, although showing-based young event horses classes have their place, the only way to truly test the aptitude of a young horse for eventing is across country, so, while this time the four-year-olds will not face a true cross-county challenge, they will next year.”
The day will showcase the best of Britain’s breeding with stallion parades, special prizes for studbook representatives, mares and stallions and the opportunity to see top riders in action with their young prospects. Prizes for breeders areexpected to be introduced in the future.
A new series of age-specific regional qualifiers for the championships will be introduced next season, including Intro sections for four-year-olds, with the best young horses going forward to the final. The qualifiers will run in special sections, which are only open to horses of the specific age, enabling spectators to watch a number of young horses compete during a finite period.
“The full championship series will start next year, with four-year-olds being eligible to compete in affiliated events for the first time,” explains Patrick. “However, four-year-olds will not be allowed to compete at any event prior to 1 June and will only be allowed to contest three qualifiers, which will be at Intro level.”
For more information on qualification procedures and the present rankings for five- and six-year-olds, visit: www.britisheventing.com