The British Novice Championships have secured sponsorship in the form of an exciting new partnership between the Event Horse Owners’ Association (EHOA) and Martin Collins Enterprises.
The championships are a vital element of the British eventing season, and provide a focus for grass roots riders, and an attainable goal for younger or less talented horses.
It has been a valuable springboard for horses in the past, and well known names in the field of eventing such as Pippa Funnell (pictured), Brook Staples and Matt Ryan have all had their names on the trophy. Most of the winning horses have gone on to compete at advanced level.
The qualifying period runs from the end of the previous season and into the beginning of the next, where any eligible horse placed first or second in a standard novice section qualifies for any one of eight regional finals. These regional finals take place from the end of May until mid-July, and the top 25% of starters at each Novice Area Final qualify for the national Novice Championship Final at Gatcombe in August. Any horse that is placed in the top six at a CCI* qualifies automatically for the final.
The EHOA was set up five years ago as a representative body for event horse owners, but it also had raising sponsorship for the sport as an aim, which it has done successfully over the years, and the association will sponsor a further eight events this season, including advanced sections at Chatsworth, Belton, and a cocktail party at Windsor!
Martin Collins Enterprises are the UK’s leading manufacturer of synthetic riding surfaces, and the company has installed surfaces for racing and training, eventing, showjumping, dressage polo and schooling.
Peter Durrant, chief executive at British Eventing, is delighted by the new partnership, and what it means for eventing at novice level in this country: “I’m delighted to welcome both the EHOA and Martin Collins on board. The Novice Championships are a key part of the Eventing calendar, and help to make the Festival of British Eventing the huge success it has grown to be.
“Having the support of the EHOA and Martin Collins will help us to develop the Championships further – not to mention the excellent prizes at the Novice Regional Finals and Final. We look forward to building the partnership for the benefit of all in the sport,” he said.